*Photograph: Joe Buckley
Ennis Town were deservingly crowned Clare U17 soccer cup champions at the County grounds in Doora this Saturday afternoon but the final scoreline is a little unfair on Bridge United.
Ennis Town 3
Bridge Utd 0
Venue: Frank Healy Park, Doora
The game was still scoreless seventy minutes into the contest but the eventual champions then struck for three goals in seven minutes for victory.
The foundations for the win were laid in defence where the champions snuffed out the threat posed by their opponents. The win led to their outstanding goalkeeper Andrew Skerritt receiving the cup from Clare District Soccer League Chairman, Oliver Fitzpatrick.
Capping a tremendous evening for the new champions was the naming of Michael Mongans as the man of the match and he also received the award for the competition’s leading scorer.
It was his goal just after the three quarter stage which gave the Ennis team the lead. He came close to doubling his side’s advantage two minutes later but Coby McDonald in the Bridge goal made an excellent stop.
Indeed McDonald made a string of five saves throughout this stage starting as early as the fourth minute when he saved Dean Hegarty’s penalty awarded after Thomas Collins had been taken down in the area. McDonald came to his side’s effort again in the eleventh minute when he denied Ian McGuane.
The closest Bridge United came to breaking the deadlock in the opening half was in the 37th minute when Evan O’Callaghan’s effort was just over the crossbar. Playing with the aid of the breeze the Bridge finished the opening half strongly and Ennis Town captain Andrew Skerritt had to be alert between the posts on more than one occasion.
The respective goalkeepers remained busy in the third quarter to ensure that the game remained scoreless as the game went into the final period.
As the game wore on and with the aid of the wind, Ennis Town piled on the pressure and the break through came in the 70th minute when Mongans breached the Bridge defence.
The winners grew in confidence from here and a second goal followed five minutes later, Dean Hegarty finding the net. It was 3-0 two minutes after this with centre half Thomas Collins scoring following a cross from Hegarty.
Bridge United had strong performances from goalkeeper Coby McDonald and the skilful Leon Daly
Ennis Town; Andrew Skerritt (captain); Lucas Kelly, Conor Meaney, Thomas Collins, Michael Kelleher; Jason Cushen, Michael Mongans, Conal Meade, Robbie Gormley, Dean Hegarty, Ian McGuane;
Subs: Chibi King for Gormley (62); Jashar Aliu forMcGuane (75); Gary O’Donnell for Hegarty (80); Dominic Padykule for Cushen (80) Aku Jobi for Kelly (85);
Bridge United: Coby McDonald; Michael CCarey, Morgan O’Connell, James Egan, Calum Desmond-Lynch; Eoin O’Callaghan, Eoin Cadogan, Scott Kirkland, Zolby Al Zolby, Leon Daly, Adam Murray;
Subs: Michael Carr for Cadogan (56); Joe Hughes for Zolby (67) Ian Collins for Murray (67); Cian Fawl for O’Callaghan (87);
Referee; Michael Rock
Linesmen Dylan Shannon and Brian Punch