Dundalk Schoolboys U15 League
Woodview Celtic 1-4 Rock Celtic
Rock Celtic continued their climb up the U15 League table with this commanding performance against Woodview Celtic at Bellew Park on Wednesday evening.
The visitors had the tie wrapped up early in the second half thanks to goals from Barra Duffy, Evan Durnin and Benji Dada, but Woodview showed plenty of guts and deservedly reduced the deficit with a goal from Tony McNally, and another deep in added-time by Jai Akhal put more gloss on Rock’s win.
What the Woodview side lacked in punch they made up in spirit, but, in the end, Rock had just too much power.
Rock pinned back their hosts from the start with Niall Brennan going close twice in the opening minutes.
And, as the pressure built, they scored a cracker with just six minutes gone when Duffy drilled home a left footed shot to the bottom corner after a delightful passing move involving six of his team-mates.
Rock continued to pile forward, attacking with pace and intention at every opportunity, but it was Woodview who almost levelled when McNally got on the end of Ódhrán Campbell’s pass. However, Rock ‘keeper Conor Maddy produced a good save to deny the Woodview player.
And Rock doubled their advantage soon after when Durnin scored from the rebound after Woodview ‘keeper Stevie McMullen dived full length to push away a rasping drive from Mark Leavy.
Rock’s third was goal was very similar to their second, Sebastian McGeough skipped past two defenders before firing a low shot that was parried by McMullen, but Benji Dada was in the right place to hook home the rebound.
McGeough then had a glorious opportunity to extend the lead after Cian Sheridan threaded a pass into his path, but he fired high and wide and soon after McMullen had to be alert to tip Leavy’s curling free-kick around the post.
The home side recovered and worked themselves back into the game and got their reward 21 minutes into the second half when Dillon O’Neill sent McNally racing clear of the Rock defence and he quickly slotted past the advancing Maddy.
Woodview should have scored again nine minutes later when Adam Finn sent another through ball into the path of the pacey McNally, who was a constant threat to the Rock defence.
But, this time, the striker was upended just outside the penalty area by the Rock net-minder and the resulting free-kick was sent high over the Rock crossbar by Dillon O’Neill.
That was as good as it got for Woodview as Rock finished stronger and Akhal beat the offside trap four minutes into added-time to fire past the stranded McMullen.
Woodview Celtic: Stephen McMullen, Alex Ward, Ódhrán Campbell, Ciarán Tiernan, Jack Conachy, Ciarán Conachy, Ciarán Farrell, Conor Rice, Adam Finn, Tony McNally, Ferdia Quinn, Dillon O’Neill, Seán Taheny
Rock Celtic: Conor Maddy, Joey O’Brien, Seán Gartland, Darren O’Gradaigh, Jai Akhal, Mark Leavy, Cian Sheridan, Nathan Todd, Niall Brennan, Evan Durnin, Barra Duffy, Benji Dada, Niall Leer, Edward Finnegan, Sebastian McGeough, Seán Reynolds
Referee: Peter Burns jnr.