FOOTBALL | Tracey stars as Scoil Mhuire na nGael clinch the 2017 Dundalk FC Cup

Seven local schools compete in popular football tournament

Scoil Mhuire na Gael, winners of the 2017 Dundalk FC Cup

Seven local schools turned up at the Dundalk Sports Centre all-weather pitch recently to compete in the Dundalk FC Cup.

Scoil Mhuire na nGael, St Joseph’s and Dromiskin made up the so called group of death.

All three sides proved inseparable as all the group games ended in scoreless draws, with a clear goal scoring opportunity impossible to come by.

The three schools demonstrated efficiency and discipline sticking to their tasks resolutely. This meant a series of penalty shootouts to separate the sides.

Scoil Mhuire emerged victorious against both teams with Dromiskin edging out St Joseph’s, the champions for the previous two years.

In group two, things were just as tight. St Oliver’s, Louth Village, CBS and St Malachy’s all competed for the two remaining semi-final spots.

The CBS emerged as group winners, setting up a mouth-watering semi-final with Dromiskin, while St Malachy’s faced Scoil Mhuire in the other semi-final.

Dromiskin NS, third place finishers in the 2017 Dundalk FC Cup

Semi-finals

The surprise of the day was served up in the first semi-final.

Dromiskin, who had made it all the way to the National Finals in the Aviva earlier this year were knocked out after a very closely fought battle with the CBS.

All square at the final whistle, Dromiskin once again faced a penalty shootout but it was the CBS who held their nerve to secure their place in the final.

With Scoil Mhuire yet to find the net in open play, the second semi-final was played at a frantic pace. St Malachy’s clearly had the edge, knowing that they had managed to hit the net on a number of occasions in their group games.

However, it was Scoil Mhuire who managed to break the deadlock via Shane Tracey, a name which will be heard a lot more around Dundalk in the future.

A fine strike from Liam O’Hanlon was spilled by the keeper and landed fortuitously at the feet of the awaiting Tracey who made no mistake.

The second half was just as tense but once again it was Tracey who settled the tie with a finely taken second goal.

Final

The opening half of the final was a cagey affair, both teams proving more that a match for their opponents.

With half time approaching, the deadlock was broken by Scoil Mhuire’s talisman, Shane Tracey, to give his side the advantage going in at the break.

The real hammer blow came early in the second when the ball was thrown down by the CBS keeper for a kick out only for it to be taken off his toe by the ever vigilant Tracey. 2–0 Scoil Mhuire and the writing was on the wall.

Tracey embarked on a superb solo effort to secure the win and the cup for Scoil Mhuire with a fine hat trick.

The CBS, runners-up in the 2017 Dundalk FC Cup

Third and Fourth Place play-off

The third and fourth place play-off was won after a fine performance by Dromiskin who showed the calibre that saw them emerge as county representatives on the national stage.

Overall, the competition was a huge success, and the talent that was on display will help Stephen Kenny sleep soundly as the future is definitely bright in the town.

This tournament would not have been possible without the support of local schools, with a special mention for Alan O’Connor who helped secure the venue.

This cup has been running for a number of years now and is one of the most hotly contested cups in the county, going from strength to strength each year. The brain child of Jasper McDonald from the CBS, it has been an honour for the current protagonists carry on the mantle.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.