Wednesday 22 May 2019

Sean does trick

Schoolboy soccer round-up - Gorey Celtic 2 Shamrock Rovers 4

Brandon Flynn (Gorey Celtic) blocks this shot from Jamie Kealy.
Brandon Flynn (Gorey Celtic) blocks this shot from Jamie Kealy.

Dean Goodison in Gorey

A hat-trick from the sensational Seán Fitzpatrick stunned Gorey Celtic and sent Shamrock Rovers into the quarter-finals of the Under-14 Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Cup in Mullanfin on Saturday.

The Enniscorthy town club are sitting win-less, one point from the foot of the Division 1 table, a full eleven points behind Celtic.

Yet, once again, Rovers were able to prove that league form goes out the window when the knockout competitions come around.

Anyone happening upon this game, not knowing who was riding high and who was struggling, would surely have guessed that Shamrock Rovers were the side brimming in confidence. They knocked the ball around superbly in midfield, knew their tasks and were really up for the battle.

They were able to trouble the Gorey defence with their pace in the final third.

It wasn't breakneck speed but it was that turn of foot, mixed with the strength to hold off defenders, that paid dividends.

Rovers were first to have a decent chance.

With just eleven minutes on the clock, Tadhg English crossed to the back post where Fitzpatrick met it unmarked but flashed his shot narrowly wide.

At the other end, Luke Leavy went close twice.

He got around Rovers goalkeeper Jamie Fitzpatrick, only to see Jason Ogwueleka block his shot on the line.

Then, 13 minutes later, he lofted an effort over the shot-stopper that clipped the post and fell harmlessly wide.

Mere seconds later Rovers took the lead. The power of Mylie Fortune on the ball was impressive, and he burst away and unselfishly squared for Fitzpatrick to fire past Eoin Blanchfield.

The goal gave the visitors a deserved interval lead but Gorey weren't about to roll over.

With barely two minutes gone in the second-half, substitute Micheál McGonigle slipped Alan Connor in on the left of goal and the diminutive attacker flashed high to the net to equalise.

When a team is struggling for confidence they often react negatively to setbacks, but there was none of that from Rovers.

They regained the lead in the 42nd minute when Fortune slipped Fitzpatrick in for his second, and the unstoppable attacker completed his hat-trick four minutes later, latching onto Darragh Farrell's through ball before lashing home from the right edge of the area.

Fitzpatrick has been selected on the Irish Under-15 development squad, and he showed exactly why with this classy display.

Looking dead and buried, Gorey Celtic gave themselves some hope with eight minutes remaining when Leavy cut in from the right and drilled past Jamie Fitzpatrick.

However, if anyone deserved to score the clinching goal in added time it was Fortune, and he duly supplied the icing to a special Shamrock Rovers performance.

Gorey Celtic: Eoin Blanchfield; Brandon Flynn, Ben Ryan, Conor Kelly, Andrew Smith; Josh Whyte, Cian Hughes (capt.); Lee Polglase, Luke Leavy, Luca Molumphy; Alan Connor. Subs. (rolling) - Micheál McGonigle, Seán Hughes.

Shamrock Rovers: Jamie Fitzpatrick; Jason Ogwueleka, Gary Kennedy, Shadragh Onwubiko, George Spencer; Darragh Farrell (capt.), Tadhg English, Jamie Kealy; Seán Fitzpatrick, Darragh Redmond, Mylie Fortune. Subs. - Luke Boxwell, Ben Keeley.

Referee: Pat Redmond.

New Ross Standard