THE Cork Schoolboys League are through to the semi-finals of the prestigious SFAI Umbro Kennedy Cup as they defeated a determined Donegal side 1-0 at the University of Limerick on Wednesday evening.
Yet another goal this week by Mallow United’s Eoin Looney was enough to separate the sides in an extremely tight but entertaining U14 quarter-final clash and send Cork through to the last four where they will face Wexford on Thursday.
Cork’s aim is to go one better than last year when they progressed to the Kennedy Cup final and came close to becoming the fourth CSL squad to win the trophy.
In 2021, they bridged a 14-year gap for a Cork team to get to the showpiece occasion but Zoran Teodorovic’s side were narrowly beaten 1-0 by South Belfast.
This high-profile tournament, which has been running for over 40 years, features hundreds of talented players from across the country and all 32 of the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland’s leagues. The competition welcomes squads of 20 U14 players to compete over an entire week of action in Limerick with each team holding high hopes of winning the cup or at least the bowl or plate.
Many huge names have participated in this competition in the past including the likes of Damien Duff, Ian Harte, John O’Shea, and our very own Roy Keane, with the latter captaining Cork to success back in 1984.
Cork came into this quarter-final clash with Donegal high on confidence following their impressive performances and results in the group stages earlier in the week.
On Monday, the Leesiders made a statement of intent as they put six goals past Cavan/Monaghan without reply including a hat-trick from Eoin Looney.
Then on Tuesday, the men from the Rebel county battled an upbeat Roscommon side, who were fresh from their own confidence-boosting victory over Limerick Desmond a day previous.
The Cork players produced another excellent display to claim a 3-0 win over Roscommon and they then followed that up with a hard-fought 2-1 triumph against Limerick Desmond which saw them march through as Group 5 winners, scoring 11 goals and conceding only one in the process.
But in the quarters against Donegal, they only needed one goal from Looney to seal their place in the semis with Wexford on Thursday (3pm) and put them within one victory of a return to the final against either the Dublin District Schoolboys League or Waterford.
For all the latest scores, goalscorers, and upcoming fixture details, feel free to follow the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland’s official Twitter account (@SFAIreland) or on their official website SFAI.ie.