WALSH leading light for NDSL
NORTH DUBLIN SL ................ 5
CARLOW SL .........................1
AN historic occasion at the Oscar Traynor Coaching and Development Centre on Friday evening and a quality performance to match from the host League, the Brenfers, as they finished their Group 1 games of the Under 14 SFAI Euro Tab Cup with a 100% record.
The wonderful new lights at the Coolock venue were hosting their first full match and the Brenfers were hoping to mark the occasion with a win.
And they did so in some style with a fully deserved 5-1 win over the Carlow SL to finish top of the Group 1 table with four straight wins. They now progress to the Leinster regional final against the Group 2 winners -- almost certainly Dundalk.
Yet, Carlow began well and as early as the first minute had a decent opening when Gearoid Cuddihy's corner found Eoin Lowry who had space inside the box, but just couldn't convert -- a lucky escape for the home team.
It prompted a good opening ten minutes from the visitors, but it led to nothing and gradually the NDSL got into their stride.
In the twelfth minute Adam Whelan found Jamie Walsh, whose perfect lay-off freed Eoin Kinsella, but his long range lob was just over.
Then the impressive Neil Flynn tried his luck with a well struck free kick, but Carlow 'keeper Alex Condell palmed it away, while the same player set up Walsh five minutes later, but the skipper failed to connect properly and the chance from 12 yards out was lost.
But you felt the pressure would have to pay off. In the 19th minute Flynn's free kick found the unmarked David Tobin, who headed just wide, before the lead goal came less than 60 seconds later as Sam O'Connor skilfully chested the ball down inside the area to give himself space to calmly slot the ball home to the corner.
It was just the breakthrough the hosts needed. With their confidence boosted three goals in the final five minutes of the half all but sealed the victory and ensured they would make it win number four in the group.
It was 2-0 on the half hour mark. A lovely slick passing move involving Kevin Lee and O'Connor was rounded off by Walsh, who calmly passed the ball into the far corner, off the inside of the post.
Two minutes later Walsh had his second when sent clean through the middle by O'Connor to score, while on the stroke of half time it was 4-0 as another fine corner from Flynn was powerfully headed home by Paddy Ellis.
Flynn was at the centre of much of the NDSL's attacking and ten minutes into the second half, he saw a well struck free kick come back off the crossbar, but first to react was substitute Matthew Collins who tapped the ball home from close range for number five.
Flynn was then thwarted by a great save from 'keeper Condell 15 minutes from time as he dived full length to push it away, while moments later he tipped Kinsella's well struck free over the top.
Yet Carlow were to finish strongly and their efforts were rewarded three minutes from time. Jonathan Lawlor put the ball into the danger area and Conor McCarney bravely rose to guide the ball into the net.
But the NDSL's win was already well sealed by then and Patrick Mboyo saw a last minute shot cleared off the line by Keith Curran. Now the Brenfers look forward to the Leinster Final.
BRENFER NORTH DUBLIN SL: Emmet Wright, David Tobin, Adam Whelan, Nathan Browne, Bankole Agunsoye, Paddy Ellis, Kevin Lee, Neil Flynn, Sam O'Connor, Jamie Walsh (Captain), Eoin Kinsella. Subs: Edi Vlas, Patrick Mboyo, Darragh McGovern, Matthew Collins, Reece Somerfield, Joshua Kennedy, Nathan Murphy.
CARLOW SL: Alex Condell, Keane Drea, Dean Lewis, Evan O'Carroll (Captain), Aiden Brennan, Gearoid Cuddihy, Bode Olajide, Ian Wagemans, Ayo Aluasa, Eoin Lowry, Conor McCarney. Subs: Michael Calvey, Ben Condell, Michael Weller, Lee Byrne, Keith Curran, Jonathan Lawlor.
Ref: Peter Dowling, Assts: Gerry Newman, Niamh McDermott.