Cherry Orchard crowned FAI U-17 Cup Champions


Cherry Orchard crowned FAI U-17 Cup Champions

Cherry Orchard are the FAI U-17 National Cup Champions following a tense 1-0 victory over St. Kevin's in Richmond Park.
6th May 2023

Evan Matthew's solitary goal in the second-half made all the difference and despite a late rally from Kevin's, the Orchard held firm to claim the victory.

In the opening stages, Matthews had a dangerous free-kick into the Kevin's area that was well held by Fennelly in the Saint's goal and from the ensuing counter-attack, a McDermott pass into the Cherry Orchard goal area was cleared excellently by its defence.

Matthews was to have another sight on goal as he latched onto a pass from the byline but his effort went wide of the post. Ayoola looked as if he was through for a one-on-one with Fennelly only for a last-ditch tackle to avert the danger.

The best chance of the first-half fell to Cherry Orchard as O’Dowd latched onto a cross from Mahon and with the ball initially evading Ayoola, O’Dowd struck it first time at the near post with his effort just whistling past the post.

St. Kevin's were also to come close to opening the scoring as a great combination of passing from Hearns and Dunne set the ball into the path of the unmarked McDermott with his effort well saved by the feet of Boland.

He was to have another sight on goal this time with a more direct effort but his shot went inches past the post. Cherry Orchard nearly got the second half off to a perfect start as a cross from the right from Doherty was met by O’Dowd but his effort at the near post was well saved by Fennelly.

They were to open the scoring moments later as Ayoola’s cross to the back-post was met by Kian Matthews and despite close attention, he was able to scramble it home from a tight angle.

Both sides continued to press but neither side could add to the scoreline with Kevins pressing high looking to beat Cherry Orchards' high defensive line. McGee tried to catch Boland off guard with a long-range effort but his shot was well saved by the Orchard netminder.

Kevins had a chance in the 90th minute to level the tie as a corner sent fell into the path of Hearns at the back post but his effort struck the side netting. This was followed up by an attempt by Dunne after he latched onto a cross in the Orchard area but his half volley was always rising and went over the bar as Cherry Orchard held firm defensively in the final moments to claim the victory.

Cherry Orchard: Boland (GK), Doherty (McInerney 56), Mahon, O’Kagube, Cronin, Matthews (Ighodaro 51), Crawley, Ayoola (Reel, 66), O’Dowd, Byrne (Dalton 90), Phillips.
Subs not used: Umeh, Butler.

St. Kevins: Fennelly, O’Connor, Curran (Olafimiham 72), O’Connell, Olusaya, McGee, McDermott (Allen 62), Segoapa (Cheung 85), Hearns, Dunne, Cummins.
Subs not used: Fagan, Onome.

Booked: Cummings, Mahon