Amateur: Davis' side win Jersey tournament

Amateur Celebrations.jpeg

Amateur: Davis' side win Jersey tournament

The Republic of Ireland Amateurs swept to a hat-trick of impressive victories to claim the inaugural Jackson’s International quadrangular tournament in St Helier, Jersey over the weekend.
27th May 2019

Gerry Davis’ side saw off Northern Ireland (3-2), Middlesex Wanderers (2-1) and hosts Jersey FA (2-0) to lift the title at Springfield Stadium, the venue for all the games in the competition which commenced last Thursday.

The Brendan O’Connell-skippered side were hugely impressive in their three games and outgunned semi-professional set-ups to lift the crown, the final game secured with first-half goals from Adam Foley of Glebe North and Enda Curran of Mervue United.

Both were netting their second goals of the tournament with Eoin Hayes of Newmarket Celtic also on the mark against Harry McConkey’s side which featured players who had contested the recent IFA Cup final.

“This was a tremendous success and was a real squad effort along with the backroom staff who put in excellent work to prepare the players to be able to go out and compete against some really top class sides.”

Ireland had kicked off on Friday evening with a hard fought win over Northern Ireland, and Curran and Hayes had pushed the Republic of Ireland side into a two-goal lead before the North pulled a goal back midway through the second period. Davis' side extended their lead when Jordan Buckley of Usher Celtic set up Foley to drill the ball to the roof of the North’s net for a 3-1 advantage. Northern Ireland reduced the deficit to 3-2 with a penalty harshly awarded against Gary Delany of North End United for handball.

Saturday’s match paired Ireland against Middlesex Wanderers – a touring side who are drawn for the Isthmian League with many of their make-up on professional contracts.

The boys in green were quickest out of the blocks and Crumlin United’s Craig Walsh netted twice – the second a sublime strike from a near impossible angle on the end line, cutting across the ball to arc it to the Middlesex net. Middlessex reduced the arrears to 2-1 just short of the interval.

Middlesex huffed and puffed in the second-half but the Irish defended magnificently – a hall mark of the campaign with fullbacks Peter Doherty of Cockhill Celtic and Chris Higgins of St Michael’s along with the central defensive pairing of Sean Guerins (St Michael’s) and Gary Delaney (North End United) dealing with everything that was thrown at them.

Going into the final game against the hosts Jersey FA, a draw was sufficient for the Irish to take the title while nothing but a victory would suffice for the hosts. That prospect soon became a forlorn prospect as Foley rose high to head home early on to forge the Irish ahead and Enda Curran then finished off to the net when Craig Walsh’s free kick was parried by the host keeper with the Mervue United player reacting quickest to rifle the ball to the Jersey net from close in.

Crumlin United’s Thomas Hyland as the base of the diamond for Gerry Davis’s side was excellent throughout and knitted so much of our defensive and offensive work together in a very polished and efficient manner.

Davis can reflect on an excellent few days with sterling displays from those with the Ireland crest on their shirts and that effort culminated with a proud Brendan O’Connell walking up the Springfield Stadium steps to collect the impressive trophy – much to the delight and acclaim of the sizeable Irish support.

“The players have been magnificent and it’s great that we have players from the four provinces representing us here this weekend. We had an interrupted build up with the loss of some players but those who have come in have responded to the challenge superbly and everyone has played their part in this success", Davis said after the tournment

Republic of Ireland Squad
Brendan O Connell (Rockmount), Mark Power (College Corinthians), Dave McGrath (Home Farm), Christopher McCarthy (Mayfield), Gary Delaney (North End United), Sean Guerins (St. Michaels), Peter Doherty (Cockhill Celtic),  Chris Higgins (St. Michaels), Jordan Buckley (Usher Celtic), Adam Foley (Glebe North), Thomas Hyland (Crumlin United), Craig Walsh (Crumlin United), Jimmy Carr (St Michaels), Shane Ryan (St Michaels), Kieran McDaid (Buncrana Hearts), Darren Craven (Malahide United), Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic), Shane Clarke (Janesboro), Niall Brennan (Carbury), Enda Curran (Mervue United)