Ross Town fight hard for title
New Ross Town B 4 Gorey Rangers B 3
New Ross Town seconds secured the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Under-13 Division 3 title in Good Counsel on Saturday, but they were made fight all the way by a gutsy Gorey Rangers 'B' side.
The hosts came into the game knowing only a win would be enough to secure the trophy on the day, but they quickly found themselves 2-0 down to a Rangers team which was determined not to see their opponents crowned champions on their watch.
However, like all true winners, New Ross came roaring back. They created chances, closed down the gaps at the back and turned the game around. They did it through old-fashioned hard work, right through the side.
From their alert goalkeeper Cian Murphy, all the way through the eleven and onto the bench, every lad put all their energies into securing the title without a slip-up and they were able to do it because winning has become a habit.
The beautiful thing about this game was that both sides looked to get the ball on the deck and play football.
It didn't matter to them what division they play in, these clubs are built on creating a footballing environment and these two teams oozed that class.
It took less than three minutes for Ryan Mulligan to break on to a clever through-ball and fire low to the net.
The visitors were in dreamland when Owen Doyle sliced through the rearguard on the right and made it two nine minutes later.
However, there was always likely to be a response, as New Ross Town haven't got a perfect league record by folding in a crisis.
Midway through the half Jack Handrick went on a slalom run down the right and finished with aplomb off the foot of the opposite post.
Rangers barely had time to catch breath and Ben Long was tormenting them, with his goal equalising for Town. When Long pounced to fire in a rebound from Niall Mooney's shot, the hosts suddenly had a lead.
After a slower start to the second-half, probably because both teams realised the magnitude of the next 30 minutes, things settled.
Yet as the period wore on, the gaps started to open up again and either side could have grabbed the game's sixth.
When it came, five minutes from time, it looked like Gorey had ruined the party. The pace of Luke Fitzgerald had caused Town plenty of headaches in the second-half but it was his accurate finishing that was required to make it 3-3.
It was probably fitting that there was one last twist. With three minutes left Handrick burst into the clear on the left and sent the perfect finish past Charlie O'Sullivan to wrap up the league title for New Ross Town.
New Ross Town: Cian Murphy; Seán Jordan, Cathal Langton, Nathan Dobbyn, Daniel Delaney; Jack Handrick, Michael Fleming, Liam Young; Ben Long, Liam Maguire, Calum McGrath. Subs. (rolling) - Niall Mooney, Filip Gronski, Colm Kavanagh, Conor Redmond.
Gorey Rangers: Charlie O'Sullivan, Alex Cousins, Jack Nolan, Jack Preston, Barry Fitzgerald; Luke Fitzgerald, Niall Shaughnessy, Owen Doyle; Cian Waters, Cormac Ryan, Ryan Mulligan. Sub. (rolling) - Conor Reid.
Referee: Derek Egan.