PREVIEW | Dundalk Schoolboys League Cup Final Weekend 2017
There’s six cup finals taking place over two days this weekend
It’s cup final weekend in the Dundalk Schoolboys League with six matches set to take place over two days across different age groups. Dundalk Sport looks ahead to what should be a cracking weekend of football.
Saturday, May 13th 2017
U13 Dundalk FC Cup final
Ardee Celtic v Quay Celtic | Bellew Park | 11am
Ardee Celtic will contest three of this year’s Dundalk Schoolboys League cup finals, the first of which is Saturday morning’s U13 showpiece against Quay Celtic at Bellew Park.
Goals from Oisin Coleman and Jack Watters against Rock Celtic on Tuesday night booked the Point Road side their place in the final while Ardee secured their place in the final with a 4–2 win away to Shamrocks in the quarter final and a 3–0 home win over Bellurgan Celtic in the semi-final.
Only three points separated the sides in second and third place in the U13 Premier Division. Ardee beat Quay in the first round of the league and Quay beat Ardee in the second round so this has all the makings of a tight but exciting encounter between two evenly matched sides.
Ardee Celtic manager: John O’Callaghan.
Quay Celtic managers: Chris Malone and Ray Savage.
U15 Martin McGee Cup
Ardee Celtic v Blayney Academy | Bellew Park | 12.30pm
U15 league champions Blayney Academy are one win away from the double after beating Quay Celtic 1–0 in their semi-final at Clancy Park.
They will face Ardee Celtic in Saturday afternoon’s final after the Deesiders overcame Bay United 5–4 in Tuesday night’s thrilling nine-goal semi-final at the Rock Road. Ardee were also involved in a nine-goal thriller in the quarter-final, beating Shamrocks 5–4.
Blayney are strong favourites after reaching the last 16 of the SFAI National Cup and going through their league campaign unbeaten.
The mid-Louth side have had a mixed season in the league but saved their best form for the cup and are hoping to cause an upset.
Ardee Celtic manager: Pat Ward.
Blayney Academy manager: Barry Dolan.
U17 Dundalk FC Cup
Glenmuir United v Rock Celtic | Oriel Park | 3.30pm
The last of three cup finals on Saturday takes place at Oriel Park when Rock Celtic face Glenmuir United at 3.30pm.
The Seasiders have already got the league title in the bag but they will face stiff opposition from a talented Glenmuir side who go into this encounter on the back of a six-game winning run.
Rock Celtic were the most consistent team in a competitive U17 league and several of their players such as Kizito Ekwueme, Oisin Meegan, Liam McDonnell and Conor Neary have already experienced senior football with the Rock Celtic NEFL side.
Glenmuir were narrowly beaten 2–1 by Bellurgan in last season’s U16 Cup final and have in-form players like Abdul Abubakar, Rilwan Ibrahim, Jamie Doherty and Rory Phelan who are all capable of unlocking any defence.
This is all set up for a cracker!
Glenmuir United managers: Connor Waring and Ciaran Caldwell.
Rock Celtic managers: Taiwo ’TJ’ Otesanya and Donal Lynch.
Sunday, May 14th 2017
U12 Dundalk FC Cup
Ardee Celtic v Bellurgan United | Bellew Park | 11am
Ardee Celtic and Bellurgan get Sunday’s run of cup finals off to a start at Bellew Park at 11am.
Ardee were beaten by Glenmuir in the U11 Cup final last season and have gone from strength to strength this season, reaching the last 16 of the SFAI National Cup, the final of the SFAI Regional Cup and finishing runners-up by three points in the U12 Premier Division after pushing league champions Rock Celtic all the way.
Bellurgan got stronger in the second half of the season and are a very exciting team to watch. The peninsula side can beat any team on their day and possess talented players like Thomas McCarragher, Jerry McFadden, Cormac Mallon and James Sharkey.
Ardee, though, also have exciting players in the shape of James Maguire, Tadgh McDonnell, Nathan Commins and Sean Gallagher.
The smaller nine-a-side pitch compliments this age group, allowing each player more of the ball and offering plenty of goals and entertainment.
Ardee Celtic manager: Frank Dowdall.
Bellurgan United manager: Tiernan Mallon.
U14 Dundalk FC Cup
Quay Celtic v Rock Celtic | Bellew Park | 12.30pm
Rock Celtic will meet Quay Celtic in the U14 Dundalk FC Cup final which is scheduled for Sunday at 12.30pm in Bellew Park.
Cillian Duffy’s goal ended Bellurgan United’s hopes of a league and cup double as Rock Celtic won the quarter-final tie with the league champions at Sandy Lane last Sunday and Tadgh Carr’s brilliant strike was enough to see off Ardee in a closely fought encounter in the semi-final on Thursday evening in Bellew Park.
Quay booked their place in the final with a thrilling 3–2 win away to Glenmuir United last Sunday with goals from Oisin Monaghan, Sean Cunningham and Craig Gray but influential striker Lee O’Carroll suffered a wrist injury in the victory and will miss the cup final. Quay, though, still have plenty of strength in depth in their squad.
This should be another cracking, and close, final between two surprise finalists as both teams finished mid-table in the U14 Premier Division.
Quay Celtic managers: Joe McGeown and Peter Gray.
Rock Celtic managers: Shane O’Donoghue and Ronan Farrelly.
U16 Eamon Mulvenna Cup
Quay Celtic v Rock Celtic | Bellew Park | 6.30pm
The curtain comes down on the weekend’s action when Quay Celtic play Rock Celtic in the U16 Eamon Mulvenna Cup final at Bellew Park on Sunday evening.
Rock Celtic’s league season was inconsistent and they had a favourable cup draw, producing narrow victories over Dromin Juveniles — after penalties — in the quarter-final and a one-nil win away to Albion Rovers in the semi-final but the players have the experience of winning last season’s U15 Cup final.
Tom Jackson is on top form and can cut through any defence and could be a match winner for the Seasiders and he will be ably assisted by Aaron McQuillan and Josh Connolly.
A much-improved Quay Celtic team will have other ideas. They finished in third place in the U16 Premier division and knocked out cup favourites Glenmuir United in the semi-final with a 2–1 victory at Glenmuir Park thanks to goals from midfield players Terence Kelly and Keith Dollard. Quay have lots of quality all over the pitch with Kelly, Dollard, Kian McEvoy and Michael Begley.
The results are always tight between these teams; Quay beat Rock 3–2 in Clancy Park in a league game in March and will start as favourites but a determined Rock side are very capable of winning on their day.
Quay Celtic managers: Stephen Savage and Thomas McKenny.
Rock Celtic manager: Anthony Johnson.