Kennedy Plate – Semi-Final v Midlands (3-0 win) – Dec. 5th 2021

Kennedy Cup Plate – Semi Final

  • Midlands Schoolboy League v L.D.S.L., Grass Pitch Willow Park FC, Athlone. 2pm, 0-3 (Shane Finucane & Diego Galero 2)

The game started off at a very high pace with both teams trying to get an early goal. Our back four of ( Jamie Faulker, Jake Houlihan ,Jamie Mitchell Capt , Ethan Joyce ) had to be at their best all day as the Midlands front line looked very impressive and our keeper ( Ethan Barry ) made a great save early in the first half. Our right wing ( Shane Finucane ) was flying and he gave the midlands full back loads of problems and he was unlucky not to score on two occasions. Rauiri Mullins our centre forward worked hard and held up the ball well while waiting for support from our midfield players to link up. Sean Costelloe started to get on the ball and switched play to try and open up the Midlands Back four as we started to settle well into the game.
The game was 0 – 0 at half time.

After the break we worked hard to get the ball down and started to get our passing game going and at this stage midlands reverted to putting long balls in on top of our back four but again the backs dealt with everything the Midlands put on them. With our goalkeeper very comfortable under the high ball all the Midlands pressure was calmly dealt with. Diego Galero came on for Ruairi Mullins and straight away his pace started to trouble the Midlands backs and this gave the talented Jayden O’ Donovan the space and time to start linking up the play and started to open up the Midlands.

With our midfield of Sean Costelloe, Lee Maguire and Jayden O Donovan now on top and getting more time on the ball to supply our wingers we started to get a good few free kicks in the midlands last third of the pitch as their full back couldn’t get close our flying wingers and had to revert to fouling them . For this they paid the price as they gave away too many free kicks just outside their box.

As a result of one of those free kicks on the left hand side Sean Costelloe put the ball to the back post where he found the in rushing Shane Finucane and he finished with a super strike that found the back of the net with just 7 mins to go in the match. The midlands pushed players on to try and find an equalizer and left themselves open to the counter attack which the limerick players took full advantage of and when Jayden O Donovan picked up the ball in the middle of the field he ran straight at the midlands defence and placed a super pass for Diego Galero to race onto and he calmly finished to the back of the net with the keeper coming out to close him down. Almost one minute later the same player again outpaced the midlands Centre half and again he found the net under pressure to finish off a remarkable last 7 mins in a game that looked like it was going to go to extra time.
We now play in the final of the Plate V Wexford next Sunday in U.L .

Squad names and clubs

  1. Aaron Cusack (Pike Rovers )
  2. Jake Houlihan (Pike Rovers )
  3. Reece Barry (Pike Rovers )
  4. Jayden O’Donovan (Pike Rovers )
  5. Lee Maguire (Pike Rovers )
  6. Diego Galero (Pike Rovers )
  7. Ethan Joyce (Pike Rovers )
  8. Jamie Mitchell ( Pike Rovers )
  9. Scott Maguire ( Pike Rovers )
  10. Shane Finucane ( Pike Rovers )
  11. Shane Dolan (Aisling Annacotty )
  12. Sean Costelloe (Aisling Annacotty )
  13. Aaron Kelly ( Aisling Annacotty )
  14. Ethan Barry (Regional )
  15. Cullen Wiegend (Regional )
  16. Ruairi Mullins ( Regional )
  17. Jamie Faulker ( Regional )
  18. Darragh Newman (Corbally )
  19. Ciaran Howard ( Bridge Celtic )
  20. Manager / Coach Niall Byrnes
  21. Coach Joe Flannagan & Anthony Hayes Goalkeeping Coach