THE Cork SL team kickstarted the 2022 Kennedy Cup campaign in impressive fashion on Monday.
The youngsters have high hopes of going one step further than last year’s Cork Kennedy Cup team.
In 2021, Cork went into the final of the 2021 Kennedy Cup hoping to become just the fourth CSL side to win the trophy in its over four decades of existence.
Zoran Teodorovic’s side came agonisingly close to winning the prestigious silverware but a narrow 1-0 defeat to opponents South Belfast ended the player’s hopes of lifting the trophy.
Instead, the team managed to end a 14-year wait for a Cork team to get to the final.
The prestigious Kennedy Cup tournament features talented players from all 32 of the SFAI leagues.
The likes of Damien Duff, Ian Harte, John O’Shea and Roy Keane have all fondly looked back on their time competing in the competition with the latter captaining Cork to success back in 1984.
Since then, the tournament has continued to cater for countless entertaining matches with lasting memories for the players involved.
The tournament welcomes squads of 20 U14 players to compete over an entire week of action with each team holding high hopes of winning silverware.
The annual competition which is usually held in Limerick, like all other competitive football tournaments, has been postponed due to the ever-changing national restrictions.
On Monday, Cork hoped for a winning start to the 2022 competition and the Leesiders got what they had hoped for after an impressive team display in Limerick.
The CSL outfit are in Group 5 alongside Limerick Desmond, Cavan/Monaghan and Roscommon.
Cork were paired with Cavan/Monaghan on the opening day and the CSL youngsters gained the three points on offer.
The CSL side put six goals past their opponents without reply.
Mallow United’s Eoin Looney broke the deadlock to give Cork confidence early on and the players kept on attacking thereafter.
Cork went 2-0 up and the youngsters held that lead going into the half time break.
Looney was on hand to score Cork’s fourth goal of the day too in the second half and in the process the attacker completed a well-earned hat-trick.
The Cavan/Monaghan players continued to deliver a gallant performance thereafter but the midlands players were to suffer more heartbreak as a result of some ruthless attacking play from Cork.
From the goalkeeper to the strikers, Cork played free flowing football with some clinical finishing in front of goal.
Indeed, another two goals completed an impressive opening day for Cork and the youngsters go into Day 2 with plenty of confidence.
Cork will be hoping to top Group 5 in order to go on to compete for the Cup.
Roscommon defeated Limerick Desmond 2-1 in the other Group 5 tie.