Wednesday 20 November 2019

Rovers boss Bradley sees red in testy U-15 clash

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

John Fallon

Yesterday's U-15 National League meeting between Shamrock Rovers and St Kevin's Boys ended in controversy after the Hoops had what they thought was a late winning goal disallowed.

Two members of Rovers staff - including first-team manager Stephen Bradley - were sent-off by the referee during an incident-packed second half of the game at the club's Roadstone academy base.

With the match deadlocked at 1-1, a Rovers player scored from a free-kick only for one of his assistants to inform the referee that a St Kevin's substitution hadn't been completed before the free was taken.

The referee's decision to have the free-kick retaken triggered much rancour on the sideline and Rovers, managed by Damien Duff, then had claims for a penalty rejected.

The inclusion of St Kevin's Boys in the maiden underage league caused much controversy in League of Ireland circles.

They were annoyed that the FAI's directive for schoolboy outfits to form alliances with League of Ireland clubs hadn't applied in the case of St Kevin's. The famous Dublin club are the only non-League of Ireland or league team in the U-15 competition.

Faced with growing disquiet amongst a core of League of Ireland clubs, who were prepared to boycott games against St Kevin's Boys from the start of the season last month, a written assurance was provided confirming that no standalone schoolboy clubs will be allowed to compete in any of the underage national leagues from next year.

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