Thursday 17 January 2019

Battle of the Rangers in U-13

Gorey and Moyne the front-runners in bid for honours

Darragh Farrell of Shamrock Rovers is pursued by Gorey Celtic duo Cian Hughes and Josh Whyte
Darragh Farrell of Shamrock Rovers is pursued by Gorey Celtic duo Cian Hughes and Josh Whyte

No colour football, not orange, yellow or even multi-coloured, could save the fixture list in the Wexford and District Schoolboys soccer league at the weekend as a couple of feet of snow made sport impossible.

This time the odd age groups were hit, with an exciting slate of fixtures wiped out for another week. The focus in the Under-11 age group would have been the third round of the cup, with 16 teams set to become eight.

Some important league action was lost at the Under-13 grade. In Division 1, Gorey Rangers and Moyne Rangers lead the way with 13 points from a possible 15.

All the challengers have at least seven games remaining so, despite being five and six points back, Forth Celtic and Gorey Celtic are far from out of contention.

Division 1A is a little further along but no less competitive. Fastnet Rovers, Glynn Barntown and Blackwater are all tied at the summit but town clubs North End and Wexford Albion sit just in behind ready to pounce.

The latter, in particular, have games in hand and can really take a grip of the league with a string of wins in the coming weeks.

While you'd be foolish to write off Shamrock Rovers or Oylegate in Division 2, Bunclody and Rosslare Rangers hold stronger hands heading into the last few games. Bunclody have the one-point advantage at the moment and that could prove vital to separate two sides that rarely drop points.

There's even less scope for mistakes in Division 2A where Corach Ramblers are four points from the title with two games to play. The league leaders have dropped just three points this season, meaning there's absolutely no room for slips if chasers Cloughbawn, Shelburne or Adamstown are going to stun the leaders

It's a similar story in Division 3 where New Ross Town 'B' are closing in on success. Four points in three games will give them the silverware but it might not even be that complicated, as should Gorey Rangers 'B' fail to match their result next time out, they will no longer be catchable.

In Division 3A, Rathnure and Kilmore are locked in a titanic tussle for the crown of champions. The Blackstairs boys hold the upper hand at the moment, despite the fact that both sides are tied on 18 points.

That's because Rathnure have a game in hand and with just three to play they know that seven points will be enough.

It's often harder to break away when there are less teams in a league, but that hasn't been the case for Ballagh United in Division 4. They are nine points clear of second-placed Campile and have two games left to play.

The south county side, on the other hand, have four games left but will need their rivals to slip up against an unfancied opponent to have any hope of nipping in to force a -.

It's almost impossible to predict what's going to happen in Under-15 Division 1 as the season looks to kick into gear. A total of just eleven games have been played so far, meaning there are more questions than answers.

Enniscorthy Town lead the way with ten points but have played in six of those games, whereas North End have played just once, and Duncannon twice.

Division 1A looks primed for an entertaining finish where Wexford Celtic, currently sitting second, are favourites. They lie a point behind leaders St. Leonards but have two games in hand.

Gorey Celtic, who also have two games in hand, are just two points further back and have realistic hopes of nabbing the crown themselves.

Rosslare Strand have played just five of their twelve league games in Division 2 but are building up a reputation for quality football.

They are tied for the lead with Shamrock Rovers but do have a game in hand and are unbeaten in the league so far this season.

Corach Ramblers and Adamstown are a little further back and can afford no mistakes in the run-in if they are to contend.

Kilmore are one of only a handful of sides to already have the league title in the bag.

The Division 2A champions are looking to end the league season with a perfect record, and two more wins will ensure they do just that.

In the race for promotion and second spot, Bunclody currently lead the way but Ferns are just behind nipping on their heels.

Finally, Gorey Rangers 'B' may have four games remaining but they are getting very close to taking the Division 3 title. They have been on a tear all season, moving to the top of the table with 22 points from a possible 24.

They are nine clear of local rivals Gorey Celtic and need just four points to cement a crown that is surely inevitable.

Gorey Guardian