U16 National Cup Area Final Watergrasshill United 3 Leeside 2

On last Saturday Dec 1st Watergrasshill United U16’s created club history with a tremendous win in the National Area Cup final  win over a gallant Leeside team,

The first half was a cagey affair with chances at a premium leaving the score at half time 0-0. Wgh Utd played well in this half but the final ball in attack was just a little off the pace. The second half exploded into life five minutes in when Dilan O Donovan hit a great free kick which deceived the Leeside goalie to give Wgh the lead. It definitely was not the Leeside keeper’s day as he got injured as well and had to be replaced. Five minutes later it was 2-0 to Wgh as Josh Cooke up for a corner scored with a great shot from outside the box. Things were looking very well but Leeside led by their classy num 9 are a good team and equalised in the space of a couple of minutes to leave the tie level with 20 minutes to go. The last minutes of the game in normal time saw Wgh recover their composure to get going again. Both teams created half chances but it finished 2-2 after the allotted 80 minutes.

With the game having to be decided on the day we headed into 20 minutes extra time. In the first 10 minutes Wgh had a great chance with a quick move but the Leeside keeper made a good save. Extra time went on with very little between two evenly matched sides. Finally in the very last minute with the dreaded penalty shoot out looking very likely Wgh were awarded a free kick a good 35 yards out. Up stepped Dilan O Donovan and with a great shot that deceived the keeper scored to win the game in the most dramatic of fashions. To tell you the truth the ending could have come straight out of Roy of the Rovers. Hard luck to Leeside but Wgh Utd are proudly into the last 32 of the National Cup and can now play any one of 31 other teams from Cork to Donegal home or away early in the new year. As Cork have only 5 National Cup representatives per age group and over 70 teams are eligible to compete for these places it can be seen it is a brilliant achievement for our U16s to get this far. It is a tribute to the players themselves, their coaches and the wider Wgh Utd coaches and support staff all of whom give their time year in/year out on a purely voluntary basis. Many thanks also to Dean Roche for his work in lining the pitch in spite of the soft conditions.

During the game itself Eoin Hammond had a busy time in goal making many good saves. Our full backs of Chris Prendergast and Dylan Ring had fine solid and efficient games while our centre back pairing of Denis Hegarthy and Josh Cooke also played very well. In the centre of the park Conor O Brien and Kyle Cronin more than held held their own against very good opponents. Our wingers PJ Dennehy and Dilan O Donovan had very good outings with Dilan’s last minute goal ensuring his place in Wgh Utd history and folklore. Up front Aaron Collins and Brian O Callaghan up against very physically big opponents battled hard and also contributed very well. For extra time new player Thomas Dinan was introduced and he can also be happy with his performance. Just back from illness Ronan O Keeffe did not play on this occasion but he had contributed greatly in the semi final win over St Marys and can be rightly proud of his efforts. Finally the team both before and after the match rightly acclaimed full back Dylan Ring who gave up a day trip to a premiership game in England to play in the final. Well done Dylan on a great example of dedication and team commitment. The team is looking forward to the draw on Dec 8th when we find out who we meet in the last 32. Well done again to all. Hopefully in the years ahead this game and result will inspire other Wgh Utd underage teams and also help to boost the profile of the club.

Thanks: Noel, Pat and Pips

Panel for the final:   Eoin Hammond, Chris Prendergast, Denis Hegarthy, Josh Cooke Dylan Ring, Dilan O Donovan, PJ Dennehy(Capt), Conor O Brien,  Aaron Collins,  Brian O’Callaghan, Kyle Cronin,  Ronan O Keeffe,  Thomas Dinan

Other Panel members absent on the day: Adam Murphy, Dylan Mc Carthy, Michael Goggin, Eric Columb

Filed under: Club News, report, u16