Two kingpins of schools soccer located North and South of the Country will contest both the Minor (U-15) and Junior (U-17) Umbro FAI Schools boys titles this year.
Letterkenny’s St Eunan’s College and Waterford’s De La Salle College will be gearing up to do battle twice in a matter of weeks of each other for their biggest contest in the schools history as they battle it out for an All Ireland double.
St Eunan’s College are chasing an All-Ireland double after their U-15 side made it through to the FAI Schools Umbro Minor Boys Cup Final thanks to a 2-0 win over St. Benildus College from Stillorgan at Gortakeegan on Tuesday. Oisin Hassett opened the scoring at the home of Monaghan United inside of two minutes and the lead was doubled when Kieran McPherson netted on 26 minutes.
De La Salle College required extra time to defeat St. Joseph’s College, Galway 3-1 at Leah Victoria Park Tullamore on Thursday to claim their All Ireland spot and thus ensuring a potential double All Ireland title this season. Danger man Dean Walsh netted twice while super sub Eoin Daly converted their third to put the contest out of reach for St Joseph’s.
St. Eunan’s have already seven All Ireland titles to their name (Senior 04, 05), (Junior 78, 04) (Minor 04), (First Year 02, 10) and were runners up twice (Minor 10), (First Year 09). 2004 was an excellent year for the Donegal School as they achieved a remarkable treble All Ireland as the Saints captured the Senior, Junior and Minor titles that year. Could a double be on the cards for the school this season?
Their counterparts De La Salle have a total of eight All Ireland titles accredited to them over the years (Senior 11), (Junior 79), (Minor 02, 03, 09), First Year (05, 06, 07). The Waterford College claimed three consecutive First Year All Ireland titles from 2005 through to 2007. Will the School add to that impressive tally of All Ireland titles by taking it into double figures this year?
These two teams went head to head only once in the history of schools All Ireland soccer appearances. This was in 2009 when they contested the Minor Cup in Balbriggan. The Southerners picked up two second half goals courtesy of Kenny McEvoy and Conor Whittle to claim the famed piece of silverware. Whittle will be the target man at yet again for Maurice Brady and Kevin Moran’s U-17 side.
The Oscar Traynor Centre in Coolock will be the venue for the U-17 side from St. Eunan’s as they take on De La Salle, Waterford in the first of two All Ireland Final appearances this season.
St Eunan’s defeated Meath School Ratoath College last month 3-0 in their semi-final while De La Salle overcame Sligo’s Summerhill College by the same score line. Both teams have the capacity to score goals and should be a fantastic day of football on Tuesday next, kick-off 1pm.
St Eunan’s College: Shaun Patton, Eoin Barrett, Daire McDaid, Sean Hume, Conor Tourish, Dale Gorman, Aiden Sweeney, Christopher Flanagan, Jason Doherty, Ryan Rainey, Cathal McDaid, Jason Quinn, Thomas Grant, Jordan McBride, Luke Bonnar, Michael Miller
Managers: Gerard Faulkner and Michael Harkin