Soccer, Youths: Wexford Bohs 4 Shamrock Rovers1
Early league pacesetters Wexford Bohemians clinched the league title with two games still to play when they dominated Shamrock Rovers for the most part, in the process claiming the three points to see them lift the Wexford Youths League Division 2 title at Drinagh on Wednesday evening last.
From the opening exchanges Wexford Bohs signalled their determination to take the three crucial points on offer, in the process clinching the title, not having to wait until their final series of games, and this was seldom in doubt as their controlled football in the difficult underfoot conditions saw them stretch their opponents at every opportunity.
Once again Shamrock Rovers went down fighting.
The Enniscorthy outfit played some quality football but were unable to break down the eventual winners' back four, and when they did succeed on a handful of occasions they found Eoin Kinsella in top form in the home goal as he pulled off a number of excellent saves despite the slippery goalmouth conditions.
But it was always Bohs who looked the more likely to get the breakthrough.
For the opening ten minutes they controlled in midfield when both Cathal Dowd and Cian Carty were winning lots of possession, but more importantly were providing quality ball forward for their front players.
They got the breakthrough after just nine minutes.
Carty, having earned hard won midfield possession, carried the ball forward before playing a delightful through ball into the path of Ciaran Morris who lifted the ball over the advancing Aaron Cummins into the bottom right-hand corner of the net, giving his side a 1-0 lead.
Bohs now began to use the ball well but still Rovers managed to win their share of possession with both Cathal Roche and Aaron Walker testing keeper Kinsella with efforts from the edge of the area, while tricky winger Raphael Abridge, after cutting in from the right, beat Kinsella with a cross shot but the ball went agonisingly wide of the right post.
For all of their early possession Bohs were being asked once again to step up their game, with Adam Seery firing a right footed shot just over the top, while after 24 minutes they were presented with a golden opportunity to increase their single goal lead.
Shane O'Neill was fouled inside the area with referee Kieran Dunne having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
From the resulting penalty Cian Carty confidently tucked the ball low into the bottom right-hand corner of the net, giving keeper Aaron Cummins no chance, leaving it 2-0 which was how it remained to the interval.
Shamrock Rovers, now playing into the breeze, struggled through the opening ten minutes of the second half as Wexford Bohs continued to press forward to try to add to their tally.
The home side increased their lead after 62 minutes when Cathal O'Dowd rose highest to powerfully head home Cian Carty's excellent cross, leaving it 3-0.
The visitors were now anxious to get the ball forward more quickly and this paid off when a quick ball forward was fastened onto by Aaron Walker who beat Kinsella with a low shot to make it 3-1, with 25 minutes remaining.
In the following ten minutes Bohs should have increased their lead but they had to wait until late on to snatch their fourth when Shane O'Neill controlled well in the area before firing beyond the reach of keeper Cummins, leaving his side well on the way to clinching the points and the Youths Division 2 league title.
Wexford Bohs: Eoin Kinsella, Gary Hall-Roche, Mark Shortle, Sam MacQuaid, Robbie Molloy-Nolan, Cathal Dowd, Cian Carty, Ethan Molloy, Adam Seery, Shane O'Neill, Ciaran Morris. Subs: Jack Byrne, Jake Kinsella, Oisin Kehoe, Sean Roche, Dylan O'Connor, Dylan Fowler, Jordan Donovan, Kyle Byrne, Conor King, Luke Byrne.
Shamrock Rovers: Aaron Cummins, Kian Breslin, Stephen Byrne, Daniel Beni, Floyd Molloy, Joe Hkinyon, Raphael Abridge, Josh Mythen-Hogan, Cathal Roche, Aaron Walker, Josh Valdron. Subs: Dean McDonald, Maxwell Sloyjen.
Referee: Kieran Dunne.