Joey’s sweep up Irish titles

by Gazette Reporter

CHRISTMAS may have brought a halt to competitive action around the Dublin Schoolboy soccer leagues, but there was little rest for St Joseph’s Boys after a festive feast of football.
A number of Joey’s teams used the break to compete in the All-Ireland DB Sports Tours Champions Cup in Armagh and in a unique double for the club, both the Under-14s and Under-16s returned from Armagh with their respective titles.
The Under-14s won their competition thanks a stunning Callum Perry free-kick in the final which gave them a 1-0 win. It is the second year this side has had success in the competition having won it as Under-13s last season. This win made it their third trophy of 2015.
Joey’s Under-16s won their final against St Oliver Plunkett’s 3-2 with goals from Johnny Afolabi, Promise Omochere and Brandon Kavanagh. This one was an extremely tight contest and a real physical battle and the South Dublin side did well to come out on top. It was also their third trophy of the year, adding to a league title and SFAI cup win last summer.
The Under-16s continued their off-season work a week later by travelling to Fassaroe in Wexford to take on Enniskerry YC’s Under-17 side, who lead the DDSL Premier.
Having travelled with a squad that was short of a couple of regulars, a number of Under-16 Major players joined the team for this one. After a slow start, Joe’s soon came to life and found themselves three goals in front at the break.
The Wexford side came out fighting in the second half but Joey’s back four and keeper Sean Prenter continued to keep them at bay. The midfield three of Aaron Bolger, Dylan Thornton and Luke Hannigan were eating up possession and creating a hatful of chances which saw the Sallynoggin team go further ahead. In what ended as a 9-0 win, Afolabi bagged a hat-trick throughout the game, as did Kavanagh while Dan Mullen, Sideeq Lunat and Dylan Kelly Higgins grabbed one each in a commanding victory.
Back in Dublin, the club’s Under-15s hosted the Donegal Schoolboys League in Ballybrack last weekend in a friendly to shake off any remaining rustiness brought on by the break. On a bright but crisp day both sides started brightly with attractive football being dished out.
Joey’s went ahead via some good work down the right from Max Murphy who slipped in Ronan Cowhey and he made no mistake with the finish.
There were chances to increase the lead after some dangerous play out wide from the ever-menacing Callum Thompson but it was Donegal who struck next.
It remained 1-1 at the break and while the second half saw a number of chances come for either side, none was converted and the game finished up all square.

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