The following SuperValu West Cork Schoolboys U12 Premier League final match report was published in the Evening Echo on Tuesday May 22nd 2012.
Bantry Bay Rovers U12 kicked-off needing a draw to claim a League and Cup ‘double’ while their opponents, Lyre Rovers, required a victory to deny the Kealkil club the trophy.
Enjoy. – Ger McCarthy.
DATE OF MATCH: Thursday 18th May 2012
VENUE: Lyre, West Cork
FINAL SCORE: Lyre Rovers 1 Bantry Bay Rovers 2
Bantry Bay Rovers completed a SuperValu West Cork Schoolboys U12 League and Cup double following a 2-1 victory away to Lyre Rovers last week.
The final SuperValu U12 Premier League fixture of the 2012 season saw leaders Bantry Bay Rovers facing second placed Lyre Rovers with the Kealkil club needing only a point to claim the title. A large crowd attended the eagerly anticipated matchup between the top two sides in the U12 age-grade with home side, Lyre Rovers, quickly into their stride.
Shane Murray’s excellent positioning helped Bantry repel Lyre’s early attacks and the visitors grabbed a 7th minute lead through an opportunistic free-kick from the young defender.
Lyre were caught napping as Murray’s long range strike found the back of the net despite a crowded penalty box meaning the home side now needed to score twice to claim the championship.
Christian Buttimer, Ciarán Nyhan and Brian O’Donovan were instrumental in hauling the home side back into the match and a period of sustained pressure eventually reaped dividends. Brian O’Donovan latched onto a poor Bay clearance from a corner and although his initial effort was blocked, Christian Buttimer made no mistake from the rebound by drilling a low shot beyond Thomas Flynn to level the score at 1-1.
Lyre failed to capitalise on that equaliser with a succession of attacks floundering in the final third due to some wayward passing and finishing.
Bay Rovers assumed control of the match either side of the interval with Ryan O’Sullivan, Darragh McElhinney and Sean O’Sullivan’s influence forcing their opponents to defend deep.
Lyre’s Brian Deasy hacked off his own line before Bantry’s persistence produced a second and match-winning goal. Sean O’Sullivan gained possession deep in Rovers territory and was able to pick out Darragh McElhinney inside the Lyre penalty area. The young midfielder evaded a challenge before crashing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
The visitors should have added to their total shortly afterwards but were denied by a marvellous Colm O’Donovan save and yet another Brian Deasy goal line clearance. Lyre pressed hard for a way back into the game only to encounter a well-organised Bay Rovers defence who firmly shut the door on a comeback with some terrific defending.
There were scenes of wild celebrations at the final whistle with Bantry Bay Rovers players and supporters celebrating a SuperValu WCSL League and Cup triumph. WCSL Fixtures Secretary Richie Collins presented the Kealkil club with their league trophy to conclude another memorable U12 season.
SuperValu Man of the Match: Darragh McElhinney of Bantry Bay Rovers
Lyre Rovers: Colm O’Donovan, Ciaran O’Neill, Jamie O’Donovan, Jamie Santry, Brian Deasy (Captain), Killian O’Driscoll, Ronan McCarthy, Thomas Palmer, Ciarán Nyhan, Brian O’Donovan, Christian Buttimer Cian O’Donoghue, Cathal Dineen, Padraigh Cullinane, Michael O’Brien and Connor Hurley.
Bantry Bay Rovers: Patrick Barry, Shane Buckley, Dylan Clifford, James Crowley, John Endersen, Thomas Flynn (Captain), Rudi Gaffney, Darragh McElhinney, Sebastian Milanowski, Shane Murray, Timothy O’Driscoll, David O’Sullivan, Ryan O’Sullivan, Sean O’Sullivan, Kuba Ratajczak and Botond Rózsa.
Referee: Paul McDermott (WCSL)