Longford & District Schoolboy/girl Soccer League

Longford & District Schoolboy/girl Soccer League

Established 1991

News Report

Kennedy Cup

21/06/14

Kennedy Cup

Longford and District Schoolboy League

Kennedy Cup 2014

All the plotting and planning is over, the hard slogs in deep winter now seem all worthwhile. It?s the 16th June and we are on our way to the 2014 Kennedy Cup. A squad of 20 players drawn from ten clubs assemble at Abbeycartron for the 9am depart [it?s an early start but nothing like the Girls had for the Gaynor Cup]. Players arrive looking very professalion in their new track suits. Players from Longford, Leitrim and Westmeath make up the squad. Parents and supporters gather to exchange hotels details and check kick ?off times. The management team are busy checking the last minute details. Everyone present all the gear is loaded. Let?s hit the road.

The weather is fine, the banter on the coach is good the lads are chatting away or listening to music. As usual we take a short break to stretch the legs. Soon we are on the outskirts of Limerick City. Tension is mounding as the lads take in the sights and wonder what lies ahead.

Head of delegation Jim Keating is already on sight and has our keys collected and houses soared. This year we are based in Kilmurry village which is beside the pitches so the lads can enjoy the other games when there are not playing.

Longford are in group 7 with Galway, Kerry and South Tipp. Our first game is at 6pm against the mighty Kingdom. We unpack and decide to have lunch before we get down to the business end of things. We meet friends and exchange stories about who is strong or weak this year.

Limerick University has everything. The swimming pool, indoor running track and of course it is the venue where the Munster rugby team train. Lots of students are still around strolling through the campus. As usual the playing facilities are top class.

It?s almost time 32 leagues from all over Ireland have been preparing for this for 2/3 years. The first set of fixtures kick-off at 4pm. Neighbours Roscommon face Cork, Cavan play West Cork. Athlone like ourselves have a 6pm kick-off.

Kerry was a big strong physical team who liked to pass the ball. They took the lead after two minutes and Longford were chasing the game there after. Our best period was just before half time. When Aaron Kelly went down the right wing and his cross was finished by Shane Coughlan. Conall McKiernan and Joe Hagan had their moments and Jason Coughlan got his head to a Dylan Glancy corner that had the Kerry keeper scrambling across his line. Kerry fully deserved their 3-1 interval lead. Shea Carberry earned his corn in the Longford goal with some good saves including a penalty late on as the Kingdom applied the pressure in the second half adding two further goals to win 5-1.

Tuesday morning we faced Galway another beautiful day and despite losing 2-0 Longford played much better. Glancywas in great form linking defence and attack, Evan O Connor, Oisin McLoughlan and Dwight Kelly carried the game to Galway. However the Westerners took the lead after 20 minutes. Cory Molloy almost equalised form a Nathan Aughey pass but the Galway keeper got down to push the ball around the post. Longford were well in the game with ten minutes to go when the referee awarded Galway a penalty. Michael O Donnell saved superbly but the kick had to be retaken and much to the delight of the Longford supporters O Donnell saved again. Then with two minutes to go Galway broke quickly from defence to snatch their second goal.

Tuesday afternoon and we headed for the Astroturf pitch and the heat was sweltering. South Tipperary came flying out of the traps and were 4-0 up at the break. We managed to steady the ship in the second half but went down 5-0. Defiantly one to forget.

Wednesday morning we played Kilkenny. Kilkenny scored after ten minutes. We got back into the game when Shane Coughlan equalised from a free kick. Evan O Connor headed us in front form a McLoughlan corner. Longford were well in control however the game turned when two Longford players clashed heads in midfield and with both players down injured play was allowed continue and Kilkenny scored. Kilkenny gained the initiative and scored again to run out 3-2 winners.

Thursday morning and thankfully temperatures had dropped slightly. We had our first win beating Clare 3-0. Jerimiah Idahor give us the lead. O Connor got his head to a Glancy free kick as Longford turned in their best performance of the week. Ryan McGoey and Conor Keenan were much to the fore.

Our last game was against Drogheda we went two up through Idahor and Glancy. Drogheda worked their way back into the contest and managed to draw level. However in the penalty shoot-out Longford won 5-4. Hagan, Idahor, McLoughlan, Glancy and Jason Coughlan scored for Longford.

While it was disappointing to lose our opening four games a closer look would suggest we were in a very tough group. Kerry won the Shield. Galway lost a shoot-out to the DDSL and won the Plate. South Tipperary lost the Bowl final to Cork. While Kilkenny won the Trophy.

The League would like to thankall the parents and supporters who travelled to Limerick to support the team.

Squad

SCarberry [Kenagh United] D Glancy [Ballyboro] D Heffernan [Killoe Celtic] C McKiernan [Ballymahon] J Coughlan [Ballymahon] N Aughey [Castlepollard Celtic] C Keenan [Gaels United] E O Connor [UCL Harps] O Kenny [Ballyboro] J Hagan [UCL Harps] A Kelly [Kenagh United] j Idahor [Camlin United] D Kelly [Camlin United] C Molloy [Kenagh United] P Collum [Killoe Celtic]R McGoey[Melview] S Coughlan [Ballymahon] D Farrell[Kenagh United] M O Donnell [Ballyboro] O McLoughlan [Abbey Rovers]

 

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