2017-2018 Bobby Smith Cup begins
With seven teams competing this year and the league organised on a round-robin system, defending champions Carrigaline (pictured above) had a bye-week as the race for their title began.
Cabra took on Castlebar in Mayo and in a game where both defences put on impressive displays, the points were shared. Bohemians' Warren O’Hora and UCD’s Joe Manley impressed for the away side, while and Castlebar’s Sligo Rovers Under-19 duo Shay Doherty and John Mahon excelled in front of the watching Sligo manager Gerard Lyttle. For the first hour it was end-to-end. As the game became stretched, the visitors took the initiative but could not break down Leo Tierney’s well organised team and the game finished scoreless.
Limerick visited a combined Blarney/Mahon team at Blarney United’s O’Shea Park and their high-scoring game provided some of the goals of the round. Limerick took an early lead through Trevor Hogan, before falling behind to a superb Ciaran Taylor strike. The lead changed hands again when Shane McGrath equalised for the visitors and Hogan put them in front in the first minute of the second half. Darren O’Sullivan, Ryan Daly and Taylor again completed the scoring for Blarney/Mahon but four home goals would not be enough, Hogan went on to complete his hat-trick for Limerick before his Prospect Priory clubmate Craig Hanlon headed in his first and his team’s sixth to win 6-4.
In the final game of the round, Irishtown hosted Clondalkin in Ringsend and in an entertaining game, Gerry Davis’ team won 4-2. Irishtown raced into a three-goal lead early in the game with Conor Young and Liam Brady among the scorers. Harry Kenny’s visitors however came back strongly however and at 3-2 the game was anyones until Oliver Bond Celtic’s Michael Early put the result beyond doubt with his side's fourth goal.
The second round of fixtures sees Limerick at home to Castlebar, Irishtown playing host to Mahon/Blarney and Carrigaline beginning the defence of their title away to Cabra.