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Wexford Albion show their class to win Youths Premier Division

Wins over Rovers and Glynn Barntown earn title

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Mick Larkin of the Wexford Football League presents the trophy to Wexford Albion captain Eoghan O Lionáin after their win over Glynn Barntown on Sunday.

Mick Larkin of the Wexford Football League presents the trophy to Wexford Albion captain Eoghan O Lionáin after their win over Glynn Barntown on Sunday.

Eoghan O Lionáin of Wexford Albion under pressure from Dapo Abidoye of Shamrock Rovers.

Eoghan O Lionáin of Wexford Albion under pressure from Dapo Abidoye of Shamrock Rovers.

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Mick Larkin of the Wexford Football League presents the trophy to Wexford Albion captain Eoghan O Lionáin after their win over Glynn Barntown on Sunday.

wexfordpeople

Wexford Albion 3

Shamrock Rovers 0

Wexford Albion put themselves in pole position to lift the Youths Premier Division crown by overcoming fellow challengers Shamrock Rovers at a windy Wexford CBS astro on Tuesday of last week.

They then sealed the deal on Sunday afternoon, with Luke Murphy grabbing a winner in a 3-2 thriller against Glynn Barntown with the last kick of the game to clinch their first-ever Premier crown.

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Albion had looked like they were cruising to the title, with first-half goals from Murphy and Ryan Curran giving them a 2-0 advantage.

However, Glynn Barntown dragged themselves back on level terms through an Aaron McDonagh double, before Murphy’s last-gasp winning goal.

On Tuesday they laid the foundations for the success with a dominant display against their title rivals. After playing with the aid of a stiff breeze, the hosts held a 1-0 advantage at the interval thanks to an own goal, and despite facing into the elements in the second-half they stamped their authority on the contest, with Cillian Twomey grabbing their second and Darragh Maloney adding a late penalty.

The Enniscorthy visitors never really got going, failing to register a shot on target in the 90 minutes as the solid Albion defence hardly put a foot wrong.

The home side played like they wanted it more, and they showed their attacking intent from the off, with Ben English playing a long ball forward for Luke Murphy to chase in the third minute. The attacker got to the ball ahead of advancing goalkeeper Will Hayes, but stabbed an effort wide of the post.

Albion continued to probe, with Ryan Curran and Eoghan Ó Lionáin both seeing well-struck long-range efforts well held by the netminder.

The breakthrough did come in the 22nd minute, although it had an element of good fortune to it.

Luke Murphy made a beeline for goal from the left wing and, although his shot was well saved by Hayes, it ricocheted off a defender and nestled in the back of the net.

Rovers were living off scraps, and the best they could muster in the opening half were efforts from Dapo Abidoye and Jakub Wasilewski, which were well off target.

Wexford Albion could have extended their advantage seven minutes after the opener when a long throw from Ben English found its way to the feet of Luc Farrell in the box, but his shot lacked the power and direction to beat Hayes.

Shamrock Rovers would have fancied their chances of wresting control after the break with the wind at their backs, but again it was Albion that showed the great urgency, with Luke Murphy seeing his effort from a tight angle saved seconds after the restart.

The Enniscorthy outfit started to get their foot on the ball a bit more, but still found it difficult to penetrate a rock-solid Albion defence, although substitute Mylie Fortune did fizz an effort wide and Aaron Dunne tried a spectacular overhead shot that flew off target.

Albion always looked the more likely though and, after Luke Murphy had seen his shot well saved by Hayes, they did manage to grab their second in the 75th minute when Eoghan Ó Lionáin teed up Cillian Twomey on the edge of the area and his low shot found the corner of the net.

Rovers knew that if they could somehow salvage a draw the destination of the title would be in their own hands, and Luke Boxwell had a sight of goal in the 85th minute when the Albion defence failed to deal with a long punt forward from Shanrach Onwubiko, but he chipped his effort wide.

It was game, set and match two minutes later when Onwubiko brought down substitute Rory Gilbert-Dobbs just inside the area, conceding a penalty and receiving a red card.

Darragh Maloney stepped up to take the spot-kick and sent an unstoppable shot to the right-hand corner of the net.

The pair will meet again next Saturday at 2 p.m. in Ferrycarrig Park in the Stanno Youths Cup final.

Wexford Albion: Eoin Halligan, Ben English, Alex Kirby, Tírnan Doyle, Cillian Twomey, Luc Farrell, Shane Roche, Darragh Maloney, Luke Murphy, Eoghan Ó Lionáin (capt.), Ryan Curran. Subs. - Joe Mernagh for Curran (60), Rory Gilbert-Dobbs for Murphy (76), Callum Farrell for L. Farrell (81), Mark Tormey for for Twomey (87), John O’Connor for Ó Lionáin (88), also Abban Moran, Conor Cullen.

Shamrock Rovers: Will Hayes, Alan O’Connor, Gary Kennedy, Shadrach Onwubiko, Jamie Keeley, Ben Rossiter, Aaron Dunne, Cian O’Connor, Jakub Wasilewski, Kyle Baker, Dapo Abidoye (capt.). Subs. - Darragh Farrell for Baker (HT), Mylie Fortune for Wasilewski (HT), Luke Boxwell for O’Connor (63), Darragh Harris for Rossiter (71), also Ciarán Whiting, Jason Ogwueleka.

Referee: Darren Ennis.


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