Collinstown celebrate their Lar Dunne Cup final victory

IT WAS another proud day in the short history of Collinstown FC as their Under-19 became the first-ever southside team to be crowned Lar Dunne Cup champions.

The Neilstown side saw off fellow southsiders Leicester Celtic in the final of the Leinster Senior League’s underage cup with a comprehensive 4-0 scoreline.

Brian Coombes scored twice late on after Josh Dunne and Kian Delaney had put Brendan Oliver’s side two goals to the good.

Midfielder Thomas Shields was named man of the match after flying back from holiday in Benidorm especially for the game, and it was he who laid on Delaney’s decisive second goal.

Dunne had put Collinstown in front midway through the first half with an unstoppable rocket from the edge of the box.

Leicester came out firing in the second half, forcing Collinstown to drop an extra man in the backline, but they got their second when Shields played in Delaney.

Oliver and assistant Dean Carpenter used all five subs as Collinstown pulled away in the final 20 minutes with Coombes netting twice on the break.

Oliver and Carpenter, along with goalkeeping coach Christian Nolan, have led this group all the way from under-12s, when they became the club’s first underage side.

Carpenter has taken on a role as mentor to the team, sponsoring their match kits through his Detox Fitness gym, while he also brings them in once a week for strength and conditioning sessions.

The support of the local community has been key too, with Quarryvale restaurant Tasty Bites having laid on a complimentary breakfast for the group ahead of their big day.

Six of the 19 players on the panel have played a part in Kevin Carroll’s Sunday side, who look set for promotion to Senior 1A, while the rest have lined out for the Saturday team.

They also top the under-19 league and will be guaranteed at least a play-off for the title should Home Farm drop three points or more in their final four league games.

“There are some great names on it – Bohemians, St Kevin’s Boys, Hardwicke – but we’re the first southside team to win that cup,” said Oliver.

“Leicester are a good side, very well-organised, and they have some very good players. The manager is very good.

“Our big decision now is, once we know the outcome of the Home Farm scenario, we’ll sit down with them and talk and see what they want to do. We’re eligible to play Under-19 next year in the LSL but some of them are ready to go into senior football.

“Kevin Carroll’s side are looking very likely they’ll be in Division 1A [next season].

“We’ve already had lads out playing with them this year. Six of our panel would play for Kevin when he needs people and the rest of them play on the senior Saturday side.

“We’re trying to give them experience of senior football because you don’t just walk in.
“There’s one or two of them who have started and finished games, but it’s a learning curve.”

“There’s one or two of them who have started and finished games, but it’s a learning curve.”