FAI Emerging Talent cut down by 'Blades'
Arklow Town/Sheffield United Academy ..........4
FAI Emerging Talent........................................ 0
Two goals in each period gave Arklow a deserved victory in their exhibition game at Bridgewater Centre Park last Wednesday
The home side, who played under the banner of Sheffield United after their link-up with the Brammell Lane outfit last year, fielded players aged between Under 14 to Under 17 including a number of guest performers.
Under the guidance of international manager John Morling, the boys in Green were made up of players born in 1994, from the DDSL clubs of Belvedere, St. Joseph's Boys, Cherry Orchard and Home Farm.
The only exception to the squad of 16 was Kilkenny's Bridge United player Peter Shaw.
But apart from a 24th minute snap-shot that winger David Graydon sliced high and over, they offered very little threat in front of goal.
Instead, the Town - who had former Irish Under 19 cap and Blades Academy coach Travis Binnon in their dug-out - bossed the contest.
After Clive Crammond had tested the hands of Lee Brandon early on, the 'Town took a 19th minute.
Following a short corner routine between Ciaran Byrne and Mark Hardy, the ball was whipped in from the left flank. And Dara Verney rose to power in a close range header.
That led was doubled just after the half hour. Alan Sutherland embarked on a surging run down the left channel only to be upended inside the box.
The striker picked himself up to convert the resulting penalty.
Any doubt about the result was put to bed just three minutes after the interval. Byrne took a quick free from the right wing.
The delivery evaded everybody in the area and fell at the feet of Hardy. He had time to control the ball and drill low past reserve custodian Danny Rogers.
It almost became four in the 52nd minute as sub Craig Keane nearly capitalised on Rogers clearance.
The midfielder's 35-yard lob crashed back off the bar and into the grateful keepers arms.
But Keane did manage top get on the score-sheet four minutes later.
In a move started by Hardy near the halfway line, Sunderland weaved his way forward.
He found Hardy whose slide rule pass allowed Keane to beat the offside and slot low into the far corner of the net from 14-yards.
Arklow Town/Sheffield United Academy: Nathan Condell, Ciaran Byrne, Paddy Barrett, Domhnall Minogue, Ryan Byrne; Glen Hawe, Clive Crammond, Mark Hardy, Darragh O'Leary; Alan Sunderland, Dara Verney.
Subs: Dean McCormack, Aidan O'Callaghan, Ciaran Burke, Craig Keane, Adam Hanlon, Sean Hurley, Shane Walker, Adam Moorehouse, Cian Ryan, Ryan Murray.
FAI Emerging Talent: Lee Brandon (Belvedere FC); Colm Begley (St. Joseph's Boys), Pierce Sweeney (Belvedere FC), Ryan Matthews (Belvedere FC), Nathan Matthews (St. Joseph's Boys); Josh O'Toole (St. Joseph's Boys), Pete)r Shaw (Bridge United), Darragh Lenihan (Belvedere FC), David Graydon (Cherry Orchard); GeraldPender (St. Joseph's Boys), Ryan Coombes (Cherry Orchard). Subs: Garrett Brady, Dylan Hynes, Danny Rogers (all Cherry Orchard), Alan Swan, Michael Malone-Byrne, Robert McKenna (all Home Farm).
Referee: Paul Murphy.
Assistants: Michael Kennedy, Shay Byrne (all Wicklow ISRS).