The Dublin and District Schoolboys League (DDSL) side who represented the league at this year’s Kennedy Cup came back in the final against Waterford at Limerick University to claim their tenth national crown in 11 years, and their third title in a row at the annual competition.
This year’s DDSL squad was made up of players from the likes of St Kevin’s Boys, St Joseph’s Boys, Belvedere, and St Francis, and they represented the league in commanding fashion in their run to this year’s final of the five-day event.
In the group stages, a brace of goals from St Kevin’s Ruari Paton, whose career started at Castleknock Celtic before moving to Kevin’s DDSL Premier side in 2013, put them on track against Wicklow with a 2-0 win.
That confidence boosting opening success set them up for two even more impressive performances that allowed them to top the group, defeating Limerick Desmond 6-1 and Carlow by 5-0.
DDSL were challenged closely in the quarter-final when they faced Galway, with nothing between the teams in regulation time which finished with them on two goals apiece.
Extra time could not separate them either, and a dramatic penalty shoot out ended with DDSL winning by 4-2, with goalkeeper Tom Murphy the main difference between the sides as he made some vital saves to ensure his side’s progress.
The semi-final was a more facile event as Kildare were bested 3-0 by DDSL. Kildare went on to claim the third-place honours after their play-off against Limerick, Mark Barry and Gary Redmond scoring the goals to give them their best ever finish in the competition.
In the final, Waterford got off to the perfect start when they struck a penalty in the first minute, awarded to the southern side after Dylan Swales was fouled in the box, allowing Lee O’Connor to bury his spot kick past DDSL keeper Murphy for a very early advantage that they maintained throughout the first half.
However, Dominic Peppard brought them back into contention when he scored from a free kick in the second half, before Gavin Kilkenny’s shot from the left wing found the corner of the net, beating Waterford keeper Luke O’Brien and giving the DDSL the Kennedy Cup title once again, lifted with pride by their captain, Charlie Barry.
DDSL: T Murphy, J Connor, D Peppard, J Redmond, R Burke, C Barry, G Kilkenny, A Lynch, M Alli, R Patton, D Byrne. Subs; A Bolger, T Caffrey, J Ryan