Sligo-Leitrim’s hopes of winning the U14 Kennedy Cup for the first time ended with a 2-0 defeat to highly fancied favourites the DDSL in today’s final at the UL Bowl in Limerick.
The Dublin side scored early in the contest and added a second just before half-time, but were cancelled out by John McAteer’s Sligo-Leitrim side in an even second half.
Reaching the final for the first time was an incredible achievement for the Sligo-Leitrim side, who won all five of their games at the tournament prior to today’s final.
It was the DDSL’s 31st title and their 12th in the past 14 years.
Two first half goals sealed the result, arriving via the boot of Roland Banya and an unfortunate own goal. Despite the fight back in the second period, the brilliant backline of Garreth Dodrill’s charges stood firm.
Having yet to concede a goal in the tournament, DDSL were heavy favourites going into this tie and they went a goal ahead after just four minutes.
The dangerous Val Adeedokun looked up to see the Sligo-Leitrim defence tuck in, before delivering a clever cross-field switch into the path of right winger Roland Banya.
The tricky number six took a touch inside onto his left boot and fired a curling effort from the edge of the eighteen yard box. Sligo-Leitrim ‘keeper Kayle Wasjszczuk almost kept the shot out, but it found its way into the bottom corner.
Just as the clock was ticking towards half time, the DDSL won a corner. The delivery wasn’t cleared properly and found its way to the feet of Belvedere’s Ben McCormack.
The midfielder aimed to cross into the far post, but a deflection off the boot of a Sligo-Leitrim defender directed it back across Wasjszczuk.
Led by the brilliant William Chelaru, DDSL kept another clean sheet – ensuring the Dublin outfit maintained a perfect defensive record over the five days.
DDSL: Morgan Rice (Crumlin Utd); Gavin O’Brien (St Kevin’s Boys), William Chelaru (Cherry Orchard), Adam Wells (Crumlin Utd), Len O’Sullivan (St Kevin’s Boys); Bosun Lawal (St Kevin’s Boys), Jeff Nwodo (Malahide Utd); Roland Banya (St Kevin’s Boys), Ben McCormack (Belvedere), Val Adeedokun (Malahide Utd); Conan Noonan (St Kevin’s Boys).
Sligo-Leitrim: Kayle Wasjszczuk (Merville Utd); Dylan Walsh (Gurteen Celtic), Luke Casserly (Benbulben), Peter Maguire (Manorhamilton Rangers), Josh Mulrennan (Ballisodare Utd); Canice Mulligan (Strand Celtic), Sean McAteer (Merville Utd), Paul Mahon (Ballisodare Utd), Luke Moran (Merville Utd), Cailan Barlow (Merville Utd); John Kenny (Arrow Harps).
Mayo 2-1 Kilkenny
Kerry 2-1 West Cork
Midlands 1-0 Dundalk
Cork 3-1 Galway
NDSL 1-1 Limerick Desmond (Limerick Desmond won 6-5 on penalties).