Drogheda youths take Foyle spoils
THE future looks bright for Drogheda United in more ways than one, after the U-17s beat Coca-Cola League 1 team Bournemouth in a thrilling Foyle Plate final played at Strabane's Melvin grounds.After the ecstatic scenes of celebration at Dalymount Park the night before, what a pleasure it was to witness more of the same from the youths in such a prestigious tournament. To bea
Drogheda United 1Bournemouth 0
THE future looks bright for Drogheda United in more ways than one, after the U-17s beat Coca-Cola League 1 team Bournemouth in a thrilling Foyle Plate final played at Strabane's Melvin grounds.
After the ecstatic scenes of celebration at Dalymount Park the night before, what a pleasure it was to witness more of the same from the youths in such a prestigious tournament.
To beat the English full-timers was a magnificent achievement, but the manner in which it was achieved was even more satisfying. The neutral locals were full of praise for the Drogheda United team and many were convinced that it was the Drogs who were the full-time outfit, such was their superior technique.
The watching scouts from English and Scottish clubs were also impressed.
In taking the spoils, the squad, managed by Darius Kierans and Rory Kerr, became the first Drogheda team to win silverware in the Foyle Cup competition.
The central defensive pair of Conor Murtagh and Stephen Murphy were commanding, with the skilful midfielders Peter McMahon and Kevin McCann most impressive. However, they did have a lucky escape early on when Bourne-mouth missed a penalty.
The Drogs got back in their stride and proceeded to pass the ball with great accuracy. Despite the torrential rain winger Paul O'Leary tormented the Bournemouth defence and was most unlucky not to score on two occasions.
The pressure paid off early in the second half when Kieran Hicks was upended for a penalty. Monaghan native Peter McMahon cooly stepped up to hammer the ball home.
The win was fully deserved and when captain Kevin ‘Toto’ McCann raised the cup the singing and chanting was every bit as joyful as the night before. ‘I'm Drogheda till I die!’ was the proud cry in the downpour of the Tyrone border town.
This season Drogheda United will compete with the likes of Cherry Orchard, Belvedere and Home Farm in the U-17s Premier Division of the Dublin & District Schoolboys League. It is also hoped that players will link up with John Carroll's under-21 squad for regular coaching and some will have the opportunity to play for the under-21s.
DROGHEDA UTD – Cian Byrne, Darren Mills, Paul Delaney, Conor Murtagh, Stephen Murphy, Brian McQuillan, Kevin McCann, Peter McMahon, Robert Craig, Kieran Hicks, Paul O'Leary. Subs used: Gary McGrane, Karl Dyas.
A 4-2 victory over highly fancied Inishowen League in their semi-final on Thursday set the lads up for Friday’s triumph. Despite falling behind to a penalty, the Drogs got back in their stride with a superb header from Kieran Hicks. Kevin McCann put the lads in front, before Hicks scored his second. Gary McGrane netted the fourth with a fine effort.
The Drogs began the group stage of the tournament by defeating Limavady 3-1. Paul O'Leary gave Darius Kierans' charges the perfect start, Peter McMahon got the second, and after Limavady had pulled a goal back, Kieran Hicks came off the bench to score the Drogs’ third.
The second group match ended in a 1-1 draw with Letterkenny Rovers. Drogheda’s goal was scored by midfielder and captain Kevin McCann, who headed home from a corner kick, and they hit the woodwork on three occasions.