AFTER a dramatic 90 minutes that produced eight goals and quality football, Gorey Rangers emerged with the trophy as they saw off a gallant Shamrock Rovers outfit in this excellent Wallace Wexford Youths Cup Final played at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday afternoon.
No club has tried more to make the breakthrough at under-age level than Shamrock Rovers. Despite a hat-trick from their quality striker Sean Wildes, they just fell short to a Gorey Rangers outfit that never lost their composure after conceding an early goal.
From the outset all eyes were on this Gorey Rangers who had a side which had been successful right through the under-age ranks.
But it was the Enniscorthy town side who struck early and what a delightful goal it turned out to be.
Just four minutes into the game, Jamie Dagg played a glorious ball through a channel in the defence with Wildes showing composure and control to shoot past keeper Ayrton de Sousa from fifteen metres. Both sides looked attack conscious from the outset which helped to contribute to an excellent game of football.
But there was no doubting the qualities in this Gorey Rangers side. Nine minutes later they were back level. Jamie Howard made considerable ground, cut into the area, where he was taken down by Ian Sinnott, with Gary Murphy neatly sending the keeper the wrong way with a well struck penalty.
Shamrock Rovers to their credit showed realy quality in midfield where Jamie Dagg and Andrew Cooney were providing an excellent service for their front players. They regained the lead after thirty-two minutes, with Wildes powerfully heading home a John O'Connor corner-kick.
But approaching the break Shamrock Rovers were left shellshocked with the eventual winners taking full advantage of a slip in the defence. When Ian Sinnott slipped in his attempt to cut out a ball it left Glen Hughes with a clear path to goal and he obliged by slamming a low shot to the net from an acute angle making it 2-2 after thirty-seven minutes.
Four minute before the break it was Jamie Howard who crept highes to head home a John Dunbar corner kick leaving Gorey Rangers with a 3-2 interval lead.
The next goal was always going to be important and within one minute of the restart Gorey Rangers extended their lead when John O'Donohoe applied the finishing touch to a left wing cross from from Glen O' Brien.
Shamrock Rovers continued to battle and following several near misses they were rewarded following a period of pressure pulling a goal back on sixty-four minute with Wildes completing his hat-trick as he headed home a Matthew Robinson corner kick.
Victory would make this a wonderful journey for this special group of under-age players, who from Under-11 up have dominated various age groups.
They capped a marvellous display when Gary Murphy, who pulled the strings in midfield through the second-half, fired home a superb sixty-eigth minute free-kick to seal the cup after what was a dramatic final.
Gorey Rangers: Ayrton de Sousa, Conor Nolan, Aaron McCann, Shane Hogan, Danny Boland, Gary Murphyy, Glen O'Brien, John Donohoe, Jamie Howard, Steven Kinsella, Matthew Robinson. Subs: Bernard Maguire, Glen Hughes, Shane Murphy, Mateusz Rakowski, Ian Loundes, Conor Coone.
Shamrock Rovers: Ryan Dwyer, Aaropn Rothwell, Padge Dwyer, Barry Dobbs, Ian Sinnott, John Kavanagh, Jamie Dagg, Andrew Cooney, Stephen Gillot, Sean Wildes, John O'Connor. Subs: Luke Moorehouse, Conor Murphy, Aaron Sinnott, Shane Larkin, Stephen Casey, Ciaran Walsh, Brian Windsor.
Referee: Michael Franklin.