HomeFootballByrne brace captures Under-16 Cup for Gorey Rangers

Byrne brace captures Under-16 Cup for Gorey Rangers


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Gorey Rangers 2 St. Joseph’s 0

The talented attacker headed his team into a 35th-minute lead from Kerim Fullam’s right-wing cross before wrapping up the trophy in the last minute, tucking home the clincher from close range after strong work by Alex Devereux and Adam Doran in the build-up.

Gorey Rangers celebrating their Under-16 Cup final success.

There was no question about it by full-time, Gorey Rangers were worthy winners after creating the better and more plentiful chances over the course of 80 minutes. They had strong performances across the park and the second goal was just rewards for their pressing.

It was an absolutely incredible effort from St. Joseph’s to get to this point, knocking out Division 1 winners Shamrock Rovers and high-flyers Adamstown along the way. However, they didn’t match-up well with Rangers on this occasion.

They had some moments over the course of the game but not enough of them. They showed glimpses of the quality that sent big teams packing but, to their credit, Gorey snuffed most of them out, which was helped by never underestimating the challenge they faced against the Kilmuckridge boys.

One looked at Rangers midway through the second-half and thought, how can they get these subs on here, because every lad on the field was putting in a serious shift and they were doing an excellent job as a team.

While there was plenty of competition for the accolade, probably Rangers’ best player on the evening, Stephen Murphy, was first to try his luck, forcing Robbie Hammel into a relatively comfortable save.

Another effort from Murphy was smothered in the fourth minute, while Hammel also had no issue collecting a rocket from Kyle Duncan five minutes later.

Livewire Alex Devereux sent Byrne away in the 14th minute, and the ‘keeper repelled the ball back into the path of Devereux, but his volley flew wide.

The same player had a big chance when Duncan’s free-kick landed at his feet in the 26th minute, but his shot flew across goal and wide.

St. Joseph’s had looked to get forward quickly on the counter-attack but were unable to get the better of the Rangers defence, yet they did have a sighter when Oisín Farrell headed wide in the 31st minute.

St. Joseph’s almost fell behind when Hammel chose not to pick up a ball back into his area, and Devereux blocked the clearance but it went harmlessly wide.

However, the respite was shortlived, with great work by Duncan releasing Fullam down the right and he crossed for the arriving Byrne to nod home.

Seán Stamp fired a shot over at the other end and Farrell also fluffed a half-chance as the game moved to the interval.

Gorey looked a little weary at the start of the second-half and St. Joseph’s pressed, going close when Stamp sent Adam Duffy into the clear but the winger fired over the crossbar.

Gorey did settle, with Murphy driving them on. Saul Lotz hooked a Byrne header off the line after the Rangers las beat Hammel to the ball in the 57th minute. At the other end a Stamp free-kick flew wide.

Murphy sliced a chance wide for Rangers with 16 minutes left before Jayden O’Leary clipped the crossbar with an effort from distance for their Kilmuckridge rivals three minutes later.

The longer the game went on, the more Gorey appeared set to add to their lead, and the clincher finally came from the cool Byrne in the 80th minute.

Stephen Murphy of Gorey Rangers receiving the Eddie Tennant Memorial Cup from Ian Lawlor (Chairman).

Gorey Rangers: Stuart Slattery; Coby Byrne, Max Finn, Eoin Kinsella, Adam Doran; Caleb Watters; Kerim Fullam, Stephen Murphy (capt.), Kyle Duncan, Noah Byrne; Alex Devereux. Subs. (rolling) – Noah Byrne (FB), Cillian Hughes, Conor Moore.

St. Joseph’s: Robbie Hammel; James Walsh, Adam Connolly, Stephen Connor, Donnachadh Proctor-Laird; Kyle O’Leary, Feidhlim Proctor-Laird, Seán Stamp (capt.), Adam Duffy; Brogan Smith, Oisín Farrell. Subs. (rolling) – Saul Lotz, Jayden O’Leary, Mark Redmond, Eoin Hammel, Greg Donohoe.

Referee: Darren Keating.

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