CORK CITY'S incredible record at underage football will be put to the test on Bank Holiday Monday when Paul Bowdren’s U17 team play Bohemians in the national league, play-off final at Turner’s Cross (3pm.)
Cork reached the final, Bowdren’s 10th national decider, with an extra-time away win over Galway United after the game ended 3-3 and the Leesiders won the penalty shoot-out 4-2 to clinch their final spot.
Bohemians also won away to reach this year’s final with a 4-3 win over Waterford in a seven-goal thriller at the Waterford RSC.
Cork have one or two injury worries with two of their back four - Brian Lynch and Jamie O’Sullivan - nursing ankle ligament strains while Jack O’Sullivan, who missed the semi-final in Galway through illness, should be back in the starting eleven.
City have no suspensions in what is their first national final at this age group and with home advantage they will fancy their chances.
For Bowdren it will be a special day too in his tenth national decider after he and Stuart Ashton steered the club to four U18 FAI Cup finals, three U19 league deciders and two U19 Cup finals.
Liam Milner, Dale Holland, Rory Doyle and Dean Leahy scored from the penalty spot up in Galway with Milner coming on as a late substitute given his expertise from the penalty spot and it was a ploy that worked a treat.
“Bohs are a bit like us in that they finished third in the northern section and they only lost four of their 20 matches and they scored 50 goals. We were beaten twice in the league ourselves and there’s very little between the teams,” he added.