Wesley seniors finally managed to overcome Kilkenny yesterday afternoon in Ballinteer in their first round replay, a match originally due to be completed on January 14. The initial tie went to extra-time and a replay before the cold snap saw pitches snowed under.
It means Wesley have to now cram in four games in a week to retain their title to complete the cup on time. The final is due to be played on March 4 in Grange Road.
Three goals inside 20 minutes sealed the tie. Striker Carl Eggert netted a drag-flick in the second minute and Kyle Good made it 2-0 just a few minutes later.
It was followed by a goal of real class with Eggert and Good combining in the circle – after a flowing team move up the pitch – to set up Jamie Tobin on the flick spot who finished well into the bottom corner.
Kilkenny did pull one back through Billy Campbell with ten minutes to go but Luke Chadwick restored the advantage in the closing stages.
Wesley now play John Scottus in the quarter-final. The winner of that tie faces High School – powered by Glenanne ace Shane O’Donoghue and classy midfielder Josh Purcell – who ousted Mount Temple in the quarters.
St Andrew’s await the winners in the final. If Wesley were to negotiate the top half of the draw, it would confirm a third final showdown between the sides this year – with the All-Ireland’s already negotiated and a league final still to come.
In the Junior semis, the emerging Mount Temple play hot favourites St Andrew’s in the bottom half of the draw. The top half is less clear-cut with Wesley still to play High School in the quarter-finals. Sutton Park lie in wait. The small North Dublin school has reached three out of four schoolboy semis this year, testament to the development work put in by Colin Stewart.
The minor section sees Stewart’s Sutton play Andrew’s – the Booterstown school illuminated by the famous surnames of Cole and Loughrey at this level – on Friday. Wesley’s U-14s play St Killian’s in a quarter-final replay this afternoon with a rejuvenated Newpark – under Peter Murphy’s tutelage – the prize in the semi-finals.
In the U-13 cup, St Andrew’s beat Kilkenny 1-0 to reach the final and are hoping their unbeaten run in the league will carry through. Sutton Park plays Wesley next Monday in the other semi-final. The Ballinteer school holds the aces in this one, having taking the honours in league action.
In a further initiative by the Leinster School’s Committee, the two cup final days – March 4 and 11 – will see the developing schools of Skerries, St Mark’s, Drogheda Grammar and Sandford Park play in a blitz tournament.
The top two from these games will go forward to a final on the eleventh as the curtain-raiser to the junior and U-13 finals.
Finals Schedule (All at Grange Road):
12pm: Developing school’s blitz
2pm: Minor final – Wesley College/Newpark vs St Andrew’s (Umpires: Scott Crombie, Dean Maguire)
3.45pm: Senior final – St Andrew’s vs Wesley/High School (Umpires: Kieran Bolger, Andrew Groves)
12pm: Developing School’s final
1.45pm: U-13 final – St Andrew’s vs Sutton Park/Wesley
3.30pm: Junior final – Wesley/High School/Sutton Park vs St Andrew’s/Mount Temple