Sharp Carnew have too much for Arklow
Soccer: U-14 premier division - Carnew AFC 4, Arklow United 0
Carnew's under-14 side showed plenty of class and composure when putting four past a dogged and determined Arklow United side in the Under-14 Premier League last Thursday evening in the Back Alley.
The victory sees Carnew sitting on top of the table courtesy of score difference with Glencormac and Ashford Rovers following close behind after both registered wins against Wicklow Rovers (3-2) and Aughrim Rangers (1-0) respectively in the opening games of what promises to be a competitive league.
The 4-0 final score will suggest a desperately one-sided encounter but to be fair to the visitors on a cold evening in Carnew that wasn't the case. It was simply that while United defended relentlessly and superbly at times they just couldn't inflict damage at the other end and therein lay their undoing.
Carnew were lively from the start and were always looking for options and to puncture holes with runs or neat passing but they were forced to negotiate ways through a really stubborn defence with the likes of Thomas Barnes, Finn Scott, James Kealy and the always excellent Hannah Martin proving to be a constant thorn in Carnew's attacking side.
It would take Carnew 15 minutes to make the breakthrough and that from the boot of the really impressive Calum Ryan who pounced on a rebound following a shot from Conor Byrne.
The home side had five wides to their name at this stage and had brought two saves from United goalkeeper Jamie Wolohan in what was a barrage of Carnew pressure on the Arklow goal with cleared ball being gathered by the likes of Killian O'Keeffe, Darragh Dee and the effortlessly energetic Fionn Darcy.
United had their moments. A free from Hannah Martin was cleared by the hard-working Zach Jordan and they made several bursts into the Carnew territory only to be expelled with ruthless efficiency by a defence in no mood for messing.
Carnew would strike the crossbar twice in that first half, the first from Sean Kenny after 20 minutes, the second from Zach Jordan who fired in a humdinger of a shot on 24.
Under the endless pressure the United defence were standing firm and none more so than Hannah Martin who cleared excellently from a Sean Kenny corner as the first half drew to a close.
Getting to that half-time break having only conceded a single goal would have been a fair achievement for Arklow given the pressure they were under but such a narrow margin would have given them scope for recovery seeing as they were playing down towards the scoring goals in the second half.
Alas for the visitors, Sean Kenny had other ideas and he fired home after 31 to give the hosts a two-goal cushion and make Arklow United's job in the second half much harder than it already was.
United started really brightly and Adam Walker sent in a wicked shot that flew wide in the opening moments as the light started fading rapidly in this evening fixture.
That positive start was soon forgotten as Carnew started laying siege on the beleagured Arklow United defence again with a wide from Killian O'Keeffe after good work from Kenneth Cullen and Zach Jordan followed by a goal from Jordan from outside the box to finish the game off as a contest even at this early stage in the second half.
Huge credit to Arklow United, they battled for everything in this game and were unfortunate not to be rewarded when Thomas Barnes sent Cian McDonagh through but McDonagh's touch let him down at the key moment and the chance was lost.
The visitors had another wide late on from the boot of Darragh Higgins after a stunning ball from deep but Zach Jordan's second of the game put the finishing touches to a very impressive performance from Stephen Jordan's men who were full of creativity and energy from the word go.
A tough evening for Arklow United. The Back Alley is never an easy place to come away from with a victory but their battling qualities and their refusal to accept defeat will stand to them on and off the field.
Carnew AFC: 1. Calum Walsh, 2. Kenneth Cullen, 3. Conor Byrne, 4. Adam Jordan, 5 Killian O'Keeffe, 6. Darragh Dee, 7. Fionn Darcy, 8. Sean Kenny, 9. Calum Ryan, 10. Zach Jordan, 11. Darragh Rawson, 12. Mícheál Kinsella.
Arklow United: 1. Jamie Wolohan, 2. Thomas Barnes, 3. Finn Scott, 4. James Kealy, 5. Hannah Martin, 6. Cian McDonagh, 7. Alex Hampson, 8. Darragh Higgins, 9. Adam Collier, 10. Ross Kinsella, 11. Adam Walker, 12. Tadgh Scott.
Referee: Tony 'Butch' Doran