Andrew’s U-13s stroke of fortune

Leinster U-13 Boys Cup Final
St Andrew’s 1 (T Henry) Wesley 1 (H Burns), St Andrew’s win 2-1 on penalties

Rowan Kennedy saved three penalty strokes to help St Andrew’s grind out the Leinster U-13 schoolboys cup title at Grange Road yesterday, taking the laurels from an incredibly even final.

In normal time, Hugo Burns’ strike two minutes into the second half gave Wesley the impetus and they looked set to win the cup until four minutes from time. But St Andrew’s produced a late fightback with Tito Henry pouncing on a rebound to snag a chance at extra time and, once that ended scoreless, the Booterstown side prevailed 2-1 in a drama-fuelled shoot-out.

The St Andrew's U-13 side celebrate winning the schoolboys cup in Grange Road Pic: Ross Thompson

The St Andrew’s U-13 side celebrate winning the schoolboys cup in Grange Road Pic: Ross Thompson

Kennedy saved three times while his counterpart Ewan Mackay kept out two efforts. Henry and the impressive Rian McDonald converted their strokes, helping Andrew’s retain the title and claim the first of the four cup competitions on offer this term.

Andrew’s made much of the early running with McDonald at the hub of things in midfield while Charlie Denvir’s power up front caused enough problems to win a trio of penalty corners. For Wesley, Ben O’Grady was the creative force, setting the likes of Josh Greaney and Max Gallagher free on the counter, usually down the right flank.

The first half ended scoreless but the second period burst into life when Burns, a superb distributor from the back, stepped forward to sweep the opening goal from Wesley’s only corner of the game, getting on the end of a cleverly switched move. They could not hold out, however, as Andrew’s stormed their way back into the game, running up a tally of eight corners, scoring from the seventh of them.

Mackay made a couple of great saves in that series but was unable to deny Henry after McDonald’s initial shot was blocked at the right post. Extra time produced no major chances, leading to the lottery of strokes in which Andrew’s prevailed.

St Andrew’s: R Kennedy, M Butler, J Pullen, M Dowse (capt), C Murphy, T Henry, R McDonald, S MacCann, R Merchant, C Denvir, S Thompson, S Byrne, S Doherty, K Puplett, B de Groot, R O’Brien
Wesley: E Mackay, B Adams, R Williams, R Chandler. M Gallagher, J Vard, M Ralph, M McCabe, P Armitage, S Kennelly, J Greaney, S Ruttle, H Ellis, B O’Grady (co-capt), H Burns (co-capt), J Flynn
Umpires: I Ovington, J Harte

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