24 Jun Kennedy Cup Report: Tournament Showcases Countries’ Best
In the days leading up to Ireland’s showdown with Italy the vast majority of Irish football fans had only one thought – overcoming the odds and remaining in the European Championships. And yet, for some, the University of Limerick and success at the Kennedy Cup was all that mattered.
Indeed, last weekend the annual Kennedy Cup took place at the University of Limerick, where hundreds of young boys from across the country battled it out. The Kennedy Cup – the prime youth Irish football competition headed by the SFAI – showcased some of the countries’ finest young talents.
There were five separate titles to fight for: the Bowl, the Shield, the Cup, the Plate and the Trophy. Over the weekend many scouts from England were in attendance to view the talents on show, with the opportunities of a lifetime lying in wait.
The winners of the Trophy were Limerick District, who overcame the challenge of Dundalk by a 3-0 score-line. Like each of the mini-competitions within the Kennedy Cup, this was essentially a play-off to see who finished in the 25th and 26th position.
Next up was the Shield, looking to finalise who came in 17th and 18th position. This was contested by Mayo and Longford. In a goal-laden match it was Mayo who came out on top, winning 5-3 to seal the Shield and settle 17th and 18th place. Indeed, this would be the standout match in terms of pure excitement, with the latter matches far more tense with the stakes even higher.
This was clear in the battle for the Bowl. A Midlands collective side took on Kilkenny here to settle 9th and 10th position. This was eventually won by Kilkenny, with a solitary strike enough to award the Leinster natives with the Bowl.
The penultimate section to finalise was of course the Plate, which would settle who finishes in place 5th and 6th. Here we saw another hotly contested affair where the SDFL (South Dublin Football League) took on Wexford. This ended 1-1 with both sides even in every aspect of play, onlookers noted. With penalties now on the order the players’ nerves were to be tested to the limit.
In what is often remarked as a lottery as much as any barometer of skill it was the SDFL outfit who had luck on their side that day, coming out of the penalty shootout victorious having put four of their penalties away, while Wexford could only manage two successful spot-kicks.
The next one was the big one – the Trophy, looking to settle both 1st and 2nd place. This standout tie featured the favourites DDSL (Dublin District Schoolboy League) and Galway. This was another match of high quality – and high tension. Defences were on top throughout, meaning the match went to penalties.
The penalties were won by the DDSL outfit 4-2, with the favourites winning yet another Kennedy Cup. This was another award for the DDSL who are known to put in months of preparation for this annual competition.
However, it would be trite to not recognise the stellar efforts of all 32 teams who competed in the Kennedy Cup this year, as well as all staff who have undergone great efforts for it to go ahead so well once again.
All here at DB Sports Tours would like to congratulate everyone who was involved in this year’s competition, with hopes that it goes from strength to strength in the future. In the meantime you can ready our busy blog here.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]