Tuesday 21 May 2019

Forth top club with five titles

Twenty-two different outfits included on honours list

Wexford Albion, the Under-13 Division 1A champions who sealed the title with an excellent derby win against North End United
Wexford Albion, the Under-13 Division 1A champions who sealed the title with an excellent derby win against North End United

All 36 pieces of silverware have now been successfully claimed in the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer League, with 22 different clubs winning at least one piece each.

Having ended the 2016-'17 season trophy-less, Forth Celtic were the most successful club in the county this season.

Their Under-11 Cup win at the weekend brought their tally in the local competitions to five, adding to a Division 1 win for the Under-12s, a Division 1A win for their Under-14s, and a top league and cup double for the Under-16s.

Gorey Rangers led the way last season but they dropped back from seven to two wins, the second of which came just last week. They went into the last game of the season in Under-13 Division 1 trailing Moyne Rangers by two points and knowing only a victory over their title rivals would be enough.

The tension was ramped up when the Enniscorthy town club were faced with a second away fixture against Gorey after the league double-booked their pitch for the first encounter, and they instead travelled north in the belief that the return match would be played in Moyne.

The league ruled against Moyne, insisting the game would be played in Gorey, and it led to a tempestuous and ill atmosphere around the final game.

On the field the sides let the football do the talking from the off, with the hosts taking the win they needed on a 4-3 scoreline in a classic game of football that defied the atmosphere.

It was disappointment for Moyne after a great season in which they were superb.

They were worthy cup winners so they can at least take comfort in that success, even if the manner of their league defeat left a bitter taste in many mouths.

Prior to that success, Gorey Rangers had just their Under-15 'B' team to thank for their solitary crown.

They won that Division 3 title with a bit to spare and had the chance to add the Under-12 Division 4A trophy to that success on Saturday.

Their 'B' team played Bridge Rovers 'B' in the only play-off needed to decide a winner in the 30 leagues. Fittingly the game went all the way to penalties, with Bridge Rovers winning 3-1 on spot-kicks to secure the club's only success of the schoolboys season.

Two clubs did pick up three trophies each. Bunclody were the second of those to complete the feat after they added the Under-12 Cup to the Division 2 league title they won a few weeks earlier.

On top of that, their Under-13 side won the Division 2 crown as well which means they will be a team to watch as they move up a level next season.

Quietly, Curracloe are the other club with three winners, doing it with three league titles at three different age groups. Their Under-12s won the Division 1A title, their Under-14s took the Division 2 crown, and their Under-16s ended their schoolboys years as Division 4 champions.

As well as Gorey Rangers, five other clubs won two pieces of silverware. Their neighbours, Gorey Celtic, were one of those clubs, picking up both trophies in the Under-14 age group with their 'A' team successful in Division 1 and their 'B' side the cream of the crop in Division 2A.

It was a nearly year in so many ways for Shamrock Rovers. With a bit of luck and a few rolls of the ball they could have been challenging Forth Celtic for top spot, however, the Enniscorthy club did end the season with the Under-14 Division 3 crown for their 'B' team and the Under-15 Division 2 trophy.

Ballagh United have something special going on with the teams in the young age groups.

Their current Under-12s won their respective division for the second year running, with this season's success coming in Division 3. Meanwhile, their Under-13s also excelled, taking the Division 4 crown.

Two other clubs matched the Ballagh with Under-12 and Under-13 glory. Corach Ramblers' crowns both came in Division 2A and their success was particularly impressive as neither team won their league title the year before.

Rathnure always seem to pick up a bit of silverware somewhere and this season it was their -13s and -12s who each took home a Division 3A winner's medal. The younger of those two sides won the club's only piece of schoolboys silverware in the 2016-'17 season.

Finally, there were 13 clubs, including Bridge Rovers and Moyne, who have one new addition to their trophy cabinets. Blackwater did it at Under-12 level, Wexford Albion and New Ross Town managed it at the Under-13 age group, and the Under-14s of All Blacks ended the season with the cup.

Enniscorthy United, Cloughbawn and Campile were all successful in the Under-16 leagues, while St. Joseph's, Kilmore and Wexford Celtic excelled with their Under-15s.

Finally, North End won just the one local title when their Under-15s picked up the Division 1 crown, but the club's success in the regional tournament was a further feather in their cap.

Gorey Guardian