Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai claim Conroy Cup

This article appeared in a recent edition of the Evening Echo newspaper reviewing the inaugural West Cork Post Primary Schools Conroy Cup competition. Enjoy.


By Ger McCarthy

EveningEcho

Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai claimed the inaugural West Cork Post Primary Schools Conroy Cup, a competition the organisers hope will grow in popularity in the coming years.

Cork City manager John Caulfield, the West Cork Branch of the ISRS, Irish Soccer Referees of Ireland, West Cork League, West Cork Schoolboys League, Gateway Radio and West Cork secondary school organisations came together to launch the Richard Conroy Memorial Perpetual Cup in Dunmanway recently.

 

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The schools competition and trophy have been organised in an effort to commemorate Richard Conroy’s many years of dedicated work both on and off the pitch as a referee and West Cork League committee member.

Three schools; Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai, Skibbereen Community College and MICC Dunmanway took part in the first running of the tournament over the past number of weeks but such is the huge interest sparked in the inaugural competition that plans are already underway to expand the entry for next year’s Richard Conroy Cup as well as adding additional age groups.

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Winning Colaiste Pobail Bantry and former Cork City youths coach Pat Curran along with fellow coach Donal McGrath are delighted to finally see a Post Primary Schools soccer competition established in West Cork.

“Schools soccer is certainly getting very strong in West Cork and will be of huge benefit to the sport come 2018 when soccer moves to summer time,” noted Pat Curran.

“There will also be a schools season in the winter and we look forward to seeing it rolled out to four different age groups next year. I firmly believe that schools soccer is a great platform for the players that take part in it.

“I rang Paul Bowden, my old colleague from Cork City FC, a few years back to tell him about a young man and former student called Connor Ellis who he should consider signing for Cork City Under 19’s and look how that has turned out.

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“Also Conor McCarthy, who plays for Blarney, won the FAI schools player of the year on Sunday is also a Cork City player. Young players representing their various schools now know that it is possible to become a professional soccer player within their own county once they are willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

“In the last few years West Cork has been well represented at national schools level when you consider Dunmanway went to an All-Ireland final and Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai got to last year’s senior Munster decider.”

HIGHLIGHT
CPB Bantry hosted MICC Dunmanway in the Conroy Cup semi-finals where the only highlight of a disappointing first half was the hosts’ superb opening goal. Dunmanway failed to adequately clear a corner and James Hickey took full advantage, walloping in a first-time volley from 25 yards to make it 1-0.

The visitors fought back impressively and equalised courtesy of a Donnacha Collins effort early in the second period. CPB responded well and Luke Scully restored the Bantry schools’ advantage ahead of a frantic finale in which goal-clearances and the crossbar came to the home side’s rescue before the final whistle eventually shrilled. That 2-1 victory secured CPB Bantry’s place in the final against Skibbereen Community College.DSC_1865
A huge crowd was in attendance for the first ever Conroy Cup final in which Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai broke the deadlock before three minutes had elapsed. Ryan O’Sullivan connected with a Kuba Ratajczak cross to hand Bantry an early 1-0 lead. Skibbereen bossed the remainder of the opening half and it took a marvellous James Crowley save to deny Conor Hourihane a certain equaliser on the stroke of half time.

Kuba Ratajczak and Thomas Flynn’s midfield dominance helped tip the balance in CPB’s favour as the second half progressed culminating in man of the match Sergei Manez Alvarez collecting a Flynn through ball and making it 2-0.

Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai made sure of their victory when Alvarez netted his second although there was still time for Alex Minihane to score a consolation for Skibbereen just before the end.

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The Bantry School ran out 3-1 winners and were presented with the Conroy perpetual cup by Richard’s son, Richard junior, after the final whistle. Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai will be back to defend the trophy next season when it is hoped an increased number of West Cork schools will take part.

 

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Retro – 2012 U12 League Final

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.

EveningEcho

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)