NOT so long ago, Corinthian Boys' U13 squad were facing the prospect of a forgotten National Cup campaign.
Now they have the opportunity of winning the prestigious SFAI Skechers Cup after beating Athlone’s Willow Park in the semi-final at the weekend with goals from Chris Harrington, Daniel Mellerick and a Padraig McGrath hat-trick.
Although Barry McGrath’s side missed out on the opportunity to challenge for the Roy Keane U13 Premier title as a result of the cancellation of local leagues due to the Covid outbreak, they now have the chance to win a national trophy.
The Castletreasure outfit were in fine form in the semi-final last weekend and an attacking display from the offset saw Corinthians putting two goals past their opponents without reply in the first half. Five goals were scored in an action-packed second half with the away side winning 5-2 at the expense of the Athlone outfit.
Despite playing in unfamiliar surroundings, Corinthians were the dominant side on the day and the youngsters thoroughly deserved their 5-2 victory.
A team effort on the day yielded a place in the final of the National Cup with goals from Chris Harrington and Daniel Mellerick and a hat-trick from Padraig McGrath capping an almost perfect team performance.
The reward is a place in the final and Corinthians are in good shape going into it.
Corinthians stormed through the Cork rounds with some excellent results. A 5-0 win over Leeds was followed by a penalty shootout victory over Douglas Hall following an engaging 2-2 draw at Castletreasure.
Then, to qualify for the national rounds, Corinthians beat a good Riverstown side 2-1 at home. Corinthians then prepared for a Skechers SFAI U13 National Cup clash at home versus Balbriggan at Castletreasure and the talented Cork team won 1-0 before defeating Corduff 2-1 at home.
Corinthians then defeated Evergreen 3-0 at home in the quarter-finals to make it through to the last four of the competition. Corinthians were the first U13 team to book their place in the semi-finals.
Some of the other U13 quarter-finals were played one week later with St Kevin’s Boys losing out to Mervue United and Willow Park getting the better of Cherry Orchard.
As a result, Corinthians faced a Willow Park team high on confidence following a memorable win over a top Dublin side but the Athlone outfit were no match for the Castletreasure side.
Corinthians have a huge opportunity now of making what was nearly a forgotten campaign an unforgettable one and manager Barry McGrath and his players will undoubtedly be giving their all to bring the coveted silverware back to Castletreasure in Cork.