West Cork soccer: League commits to stick with March to November fixture list

West Cork soccer: League commits to stick with March to November fixture list
The Skibbereen Celtic squad celebrate winning the 2019 SuperValu West Cork Schoolboys U12 Premier League following a terrific campaign.

THIS season’s SuperValu West Cork Schoolboys League campaign delivered plenty of goals, excitement and drama.

WCSL clubs voted to move to a March-November fixture-list last year. Club delegates have since passed a motion to stick with the new calendar format for at least another three years. A late start in April coupled with difficult winter weather conditions meant the inaugural season ran slightly late but there is only one fixture yet to be completed.

Last weekend’s rearranged SuperValu U14 Premier League play-off between Bantry Bay Rovers and Drinagh Rangers had to be postponed. As a result, Rangers and Rovers’ winner take all showdown is tentatively pencilled in to take place at Skibbereen AFC’s Baltimore Road ground next Saturday.

Elsewhere, league champions and cup winners were crowned in the U12, U13, U14 and U16 age-grades at the conclusion of another high-scoring campaign.

The SuperValu U12 Premier League is synonymous with close title races and this season was no exception. Skibbereen Celtic and Ardfield went toe to toe until the Baltimore Road club secured the trophy courtesy of a 5-2 defeat of Dunmanway Town Cadets in November. Celtic were worthy champions having remained undefeated throughout their ascent to the summit of the table.

A quick glance at the U12 Premier goal-scoring statistics underlines Celtic’s superiority as they netted 33 times en route to claiming the league. Skibb’s Adam O’Donovan topped the U12 Premier scoring charts in a division Lyre Rovers’ Joe Barry, Dunmanway Town’s Euan Lehane, Jack Hennigan and Ogie Walsh, Clonakilty AFC’s Luke Murphy, Ardfield’s Dylan O’Neill and Bunratty’s Sam Logan regularly found the net. An equally entertaining U12 Division 1A League title-battle took place this season.

Kilmichael Rovers held off Skibbereen Phoenix and Bay Rovers Rebels to claim the trophy by 6 points. The Inchisine club lost only once in twelve outings and rubber-stamped their success with an emphatic defeat of Skibbereen Phoenix at the end of January.

Goals flowed throughout the year with Kilmichael Rovers netting 48 times, Bay Rovers Rebels scoring 46 and Phoenix finding the net on 43 occasions. The other U12 Division 1A League competitors were not shy in front of goal either. Bayern Bay Rovers (31), Castlelack (30), Drinagh Rangers (29) and Riverside Athletic Lions (24) each racked up impressive totals.

Kilmichael’s Tim Sweeney had a season to remember by netting 31 goals in all competitions. Elsewhere in U12 Division 1A, Castlelack’s Jack Coomey (15), Bay Rovers Rebels’ Dan Joe O’Neill (13), John Mulhall (10) and Colin Cronin (10), Riverside Athletic Lions’ Oisin O’Connell (10), Skibb Phoenix’s Dylan Heaton-Jones (8) and Bayern Bay Rovers’ Dylan Barry O’Callaghan (8) also weighed in with eye-catching totals.

Three clubs battled it out for SuperValu U12 Division 1B League honours before Skibbereen Dynamos edged out Togher Celtic and Beara United.

Dynamos won 12 of their 14 league fixtures and tasted defeat only once prior to becoming league champions. A 37-point haul was sufficient to outlast Togher and Beara with Skibbereen’s goal-scoring charts dominated by Joe McCarthy, Shane Hallihane, Rory Allen, Ronan Collins and Matthew Murphy.

In terms of goal-scoring, U12 Division 1B delivered a hugely impressive average of 37 goals per team. Skibbereen Dynamos found the net 60 times ahead of Dunmanway Town Youths (44 goals), Riverside Athletic Tigers (43), Togher Celtic (43), Beara United (41), Sullane (37), Borussia Bay Rovers (22) and Sparta Bay Rovers (10).

In the U13 age-grade, Lyre Rovers rounded off a brilliant year by adding the SuperValu Cup to their Premier League triumph. A double-winning season was just reward for a talented Rovers squad that amassed 28 goals in both competitions.

Timothy Cullinane contributed 16 of Lyre’s total with Tim Bailey, Shane O’Regan, Jason Murray and Oisin Harrington also getting their names on the Knockskeagh club’s scoresheet.

A word of praise too for Bantry Bay Rovers who finished runners-up in both the U13 league and cup competitions. The Kealkill side’s Skechers SFAI National Cup exploits attracted plenty of headlines and Bay underlined their quality with 35 (domestic) goals.

Clonakilty AFC’s perfect league record delivered SuperValu U13 Division 1 glory. The Ballyvackey club saw off runners-up Sullane with Des Keneally (11), Prince Iyalla (6) Cal O’Mahony (6), Adam Sexton (5) and Calem Harte (3) regularly hitting the net. Unsurprisingly, Clon were the division’s top scorers with 36 goals, closely followed by Sullane (18) and Bunratty United (16).

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