Eany Celtic are Southern U-16 Cup champions after win over St. Catherine's

Eany Celtic are Southern U-16 Cup champions after win over St. Catherine's

A tremendous second half performance from Eany Celtic U-16s saw them lift the South Donegal Schoolboys' Cup at Eany Park last weekend after trailing 1-0 at half-time to an impressive St Catherine's side.

While the first half belonged to St. Catherine's it was Eany who nearly drew first blood when Nathan Maxwell's free kick from distance came back to Jared Harvey on the edge of the six yard box but Harvey was adjudged to have handballed and the chance was gone.

St. Catherine's replied swiftly when in the 20th minute Christopher Mulligan shot from distance only to see his effort go inches wide of Eany keeper Oisin Burke's far post. Two quick corners in succession for St. Catherine's failed to produce anything but on the half hour mark Cole Quigley gave the vistors a well deserved lead after a great strike from the edge of the box found the back of the net.

St. Catherine's turned the screw and were unlucky not to extend their lead after two further long range efforts narrowly missed their target.The loss of Eany centre half Rhyss Boyle through injury further exacerbated the home side's difficulties and they will consider themselves fortunate to have finished the half only 1-0 down.

If ever there was a game of two halves then this was it. Eany began the second half brightly and continued throughout. Jack Boyle ploughing a lonely furrow up front began to cause problems for the St. Catherine's back four and wide men Jack Byrne and Josh Maxwell were finding space in behind the full backs.

Eany's equaliser came in the 55th minute after Nathan Maxwell's free kick from inside his own box was flicked on by Kyle Breslin for Jack Boyle. Boyle slipped his marker, rounded keeper Jamie Kelly and duly finished from an acute angle. Eany came close again after Jack Byrne's cross from the left found Jared Harvey at the far post but Harvey's header went just wide. St Catherine's responded with a slick move down the right and just as it looked as though front man Pauric Love was about to fire the Killybegs men back into the lead along came Halim Egberongbe with a superb sliding tackle to spoil the party.

Eany's second and the decisive goal of the game came after Jared Harvey found Jack Byrne on the right with a pass from the midfield. Byrne rounded two defenders and produced an unstoppable finish from the edge of the box to secure the win. St Catherine's pressed hard for an equaliser but it was Eany with a succession of counter attacks who looked the more likely to score.

Referee Seamus McGroary's whistle concluded what was a very entertaining and keenly contested final. South Donegal Schoolboy's chairman Denis McDaid presented Eany's Oisin Meehan with the trophy and thanked the players from both teams and officials Seamus McGrory, David Keeney and Francis Cassidy for their contribution to what had been a great spectacle.

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