Cork Schoolboys League land the Kennedy Cup for the first time since 1989

Two goals from Darragh Lynch saw off Waterford to secure the prestigious U14 title for the CSL
Cork Schoolboys League land the Kennedy Cup for the first time since 1989

The Cork Schoolboys League U14 team and management after winning the Kennedy Cup at UL.

Cork Schoolboys League 2 Waterford 0

CORK won their fourth Kennedy Cup at UL and first in 33 years. 

Before the 2022 final, the 1989 CSL team were the last secure the prestigious U14 title, emulating the successes of the 1977 and 1986 Cork teams. Two goals from Darragh Lynch put the current crop on a par with their predecessors.

Robin O’Day’s panel excelled throughout the tournament. The youngsters defeated Cavan/Monaghan, Roscommon and Limerick Desmond en route to topping Group 5 before overcoming Donegal 1-0 in the quarter-finals. Mallow United’s Eoin Looney scored the only goal in the semi-finals against Wexford to set up a highly-anticipated final against a talented Waterford and ended the tournament as joint-top scorer.

In the final, Cork started well with the likes of Luke McDonnell, Ross O’Herlihy and Jamie Horgan forcing turnovers. Matthew Kiernan and Matthew Dowling worked well in the midfield to create openings for the Cork attackers with Ryan Dineen and David O’Connell also impressive.

Jamie Horgan’s in-swinging free-kick forced Waterford goalkeeper Henry Kirby into a quick reflex save on six minutes.

The attacking trio of Cormac Deane, Eoin Looney and Darragh Lynch linked up well but to their credit, the Waterford rearguard, supported by the excellent Muhammad Oladiti in midfield, restricted them.

Undeterred, Cork took the lead right on the stroke of halftime when Looney lost his marker after a quick throw-in on the right before crossing deep into the Waterford box. Kirby raced from his line and attempted to clear the ball but Lynch bravely headed home from the six-yard line to break the deadlock.

Cork doubled their advantage on 43 minutes. Horgan forced Kirby to parry via a 20-yard left-footed free-kick and Lynch was in the perfect position to pounce on the rebound.

Waterford threw caution to the wind thereafter and Cork shot-stopper Cullinane made a first-rate save to deny Adam Dobbyn from point-blank range. Indeed, Cullinane was calm and collected throughout the final.

At the other end, Deane beat his marker on the left before dribbling into the box and crashing a powerful drive against the crossbar.

Cork cleverly dictated the pace of the game throughout the latter stages and Waterford were unable to find a kink in a well-organised Cork defence.

The Cork players and coaches jumped for joy at the final whistle in Limerick and captain Luke McDonnell was on hand to lift the Kennedy Cup after a long wait for the Cork Schoolboys League.

CORK: Rory Cullinane (Leeside), Ross O’Herlihy (Avondale United), Luke McDonnell (Springfield Ramblers), Jamie Horgan (Douglas Hall), Matthew Dowling (Douglas Hall), Matthew Kiernan (Carrigaline United), Ryan Dineen (Leeside), David O’Connell (Douglas Hall), Cormac Deane (Midleton), Eoin Looney (Mallow United), Darragh Lynch (Tramore Athletic). 

Subs: Adam Lee (Carrigtwohill United), Scott O’Sullivan (Rockmount), Lewis Linehan (Douglas Hall), Colin Healy (Mallow United), Liam Cregan (Douglas Hall), Eoghan Hogan (Lakewood Athletic), Ben Fitzgerald (Midleton), Aaron O’Mahony (Leeside), Shane Murtagh (Churchvilla).

Coaches: Robin O’Day, Stephen O’Sullivan, Dylan Gregson, Darren O’Day.

Man of the Match: Darragh Lynch.

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