Schoolboy’s Junior Cup final: Wesley College 6 (J Roberts, K Shimmins, I Stuart 4) Kilkenny College 1 (J Duncan)
Wesley won back the Junior Cup after a brief hiatus, claiming their third crown in four years at this level with a comprehensive display over a game Kilkenny who competed well for the opening third before the Ballinteer school’s quality came to bear.
For the cats, their bid for a first title since 2007 foundered as a representative-laden opposition showed ruthless intent once they got on the board and never looked back.
Two goals in the space of 45 seconds proved their undoing around the 22nd minute mark as Jonathan Roberts and Kirk Shimmins found the gaps and, with space becoming more prevailent, Ian Stuart applied a series of fine finishes to ease Wesley home.
The goal-rush, though, could have begun inside two minutes as Luke Madeley’s simmering drag-flick was bunted off the line by the cat’s talisman, Jeremy Duncan.
Other than that early effort, Kilkenny looked reasonably comfortable despite shipping plenty of possession. Sam Grace’s feverish tackling in midfield was a feature while Duncan fizzed one cross dangerously in front of goal while Jamie Gibney battered one just wide.
But the favourites – by virtue of a stunning win over St Andrew’s in round one – had plenty of game-breakers in their side and eventually found their route to goal.
From their third corner, Ian Stuart’s effort was again stopped on the line – this time Chris Edwards getting in the way – but the ball was not fully cleared and injector Roberts flicked in.
In the blink of an eye it was two, this time Shimmins burned down the left channel. He seemed intent on sweeping to an on-rushing forward but his shot took a defender’s stick en route and bounced into the bottom corner.
From there, the Stuart-show began in earnest. On the half-time whistle, he cut in from the right-wing and rifled an excellent shot for 3-0, a blow which made a Kilkenny comeback that bit more notional. Four minutes after the break, he was at it again when he completed a move from a long-corner.
Duncan did get one back in brilliant style when a corner push-out was miscued. It barely made it out of the circle, putting more pressure on the Railway man. His first touch took him left and away from the first runner before firing a reverse-stick thunderbolt into the backboard.
It was brief respite as Wesley continued to show their cutting edge. Scott Dagg created Stuart’s hat-trick goal from an excellent team move and the final goal added an extra gloss on a fine performance.
Wesley College: A Browne, J Dalrymple, D Shirley, A Oglesby, D Winn, F Huggard, K Shimmins, L Madeley, J Roberts, I Stewart, B Chadwick, N Pelow, J O’Donovan, S Dagg, R Shaw, A Blennerhassett
Kilkenny College: M Murenzi, J Glass, J Duncan, J Sherman, J Ludwig, N Dool, S Morrow, J Greene, B Deverell, J Gibney, B McDowell, S Grace, C Edwards, D McClure, R Woodbyrne, S Zur