Wesley completed a clean sweep of the boy’s schools titles today as they claimed the under 13 and junior cups. They were made to work hard, though, coming from behind in both matches.
In the under 13 final, Stephen Keenan opened the scoring for St Andrews with a piledriver before Wesley equalised from a penalty corner. But Andrews were back in front on the stroke of half-time Mark Loughrey deflected in a neat corner.
Ian Stewart was to become more and more influential as time wore on. He got Wesley back on terms early in the second and was well supported by the stylish Kirk Shimmins in midfield. Andrews, though, had the clearer chances to win the game in normal time.
They could not capitalise and Wesley took full advantage in extra-time. Stewart deflected home two minutes into time added on and banged another in moments later to knock the stuffing out of Andrews, making it 4-2. And there was time for one more, with Stewart setting Kai Jameson up slide a tidy finish across the goalkeeper for a final score of 5-2.
The Junior final pitted an immensely talented Wesley side complete with first eleven players from TRR, Railway and Corinthian against a gutsy Kilkenny outfit. But despite the Ballinteer side making most of the early running, the Cats opened the scoring in the 18th minute from their third penalty corner, Eoin Finnegan dribbling past two runners to roll home from six yards.
And the lead was almost doubled when Finnegan repeated the trick only to see his effort saved off the line by Peter English. Wesley, though, had a whole myriad of chances before Kyle Good eventually got the leveller in the 49th minute – banging home from three yards off the unlucky George Smyth. Smyth was truly inspired throughout.
Luke Chadwick got Wesley into the lead three minutes after after great spade-work down the right by Good before Shane Madeley profited with a neat high finish after English saw his initial shot saved.
Evan Matthews gave Kilkenny a lifeline with six minutes remaining, mopping up a rebound from Finnegan’s shot but the victory was sealed when Nicholas Armstrong fired in a spectacular aerial into the roof of the net to give Wesley the full house of school’s titles.
* Report and pictures can be seen in next week’s Gazette newspapers.