Eany Celtic U-14s, fresh from winning the Cup and League double in the South Donegal Schoolboys competition, had two wins recently in the Champions League.
Kilmacrennan Celtic 1-3 Eany Celtic
Eany Celtic U14’s continued their winning ways when they travelled through the gap to play Letterkenny/NW Premier League Champions Kilmacrennan Celtic in the Donegal Schoolboy’s U14 Champions League.
Eany travelled as rank outsiders in this game but somebody had forgotten to tell the players.
The game was a high intensity, end to end affair with both sides playing some good football.
Kilmacrennan had the better of the early chances with a shot from the edge of the box striking the post and Eany keeper Shane Meehan making a tremendous save from a free kick from 20 yards.
As the half wore on Kilmacrennan struggled to break down the Eany defence with Eany’s right back Dermot McGuckin being proof of the old adage ‘the bigger they are the harder they fall’.
Nathan Maxwell’s relentless work in the midfield began to pay dividends as both Jack Byrne and Josh Maxwell found openings up front but failed to finish.
It was the half hour mark before Eany would finally break the deadlock when Jack Byrne latched onto a through ball from Nathan Maxwell. Byrne’s initial touch saw the ball end up at the feet of Josh Maxwell who laid the ball back into Byrne’s path and the Eany striker slotted home from near the edge of the box.
Kilmacrennan pressed hard for an equalizer but the teams went in at half time with Eany’s lead still intact.
Kilmacrennan began the second half impressively but were reduced to shooting from distance by the Eany defence. In the 50th minute they could have drawn level when they found themselves in front of goal with only the keeper to beat but somehow the ball managed to find its way over the crossbar.
In the 55th minute Eany conceded a free kick midway inside their own half. Kilmacrennan committed men forward and after the ball was lofted into the Eany box an outsretched Kilmacrennan leg guided the ball past the Eany keeper and into the net and the sides were level.
Within minutes of conceding Eany won a free kick just inside the Kilmacrennan half after Stephen Black was adjudged to have fouled Eany forward Michael Harvey. Nathan Maxwell pumped the ball long into the Kilmacrennan box but the resulting clearance only found the encroaching Josh Maxwell. Maxwell took his touch well and finished sweetly into the keeper’s left hand corner for what was his tenth competitive goal of the season.
With just over ten minutes left on the clock Kilmacrennan introduced some fresh legs and began to commit men forward but Eany countered and in the 70th minute it was Josh Maxwell again who picked up the ball on the left hand side, beat one of the defenders and slotted an inch perfect pass into the path of Jack Byrne. Byrne’s first touch was exquisite and the Eany hotshot fired the ball past the outstretched keeper to bag his second goal of the night and to round off what was a great team performance.
Eany U14s stretch unbeaten run
Eany Celtic 2-1 Cappry Rovers
Eany Celtic U14’s stretched their unbeaten run in League, Cup and Champions League to 18 games with 17 wins and 1 draw after beating Cappry Rovers in the Donegal Schoolboys U14 Champions League at Eany Park on Tuesday.
Cappry dominated the early stages of this game and took the lead after ten minutes when a looping shot from the edge of the box manage to evade the outstretched arms of the Eany Keeper Shane Meehan.
Cappry continued to pile pressure onto the Eany defence but despite putting together a number of good passing movements and creating one or two chances they were unable to add to their tally.
With ten minutes of the first half remaining Cappry won a corner and almost stretched their lead with a good header but Dermot Mcguckin’s goal line clearance kept Eany in it.
Just before half time Eany had their best chance when Jack Byrne chased a ball over the top from Nathan Maxwell but the Cappry keeper was quick to come off his line and managed to clear.
The second half saw a different Eany side emerge with Nathan Maxwell and Kyle Campbell starting to stamp their authority in the midfield. Halim Egberongbe’s probing runs began to create problems for Cappry and the Eany back four began to find their shape.
In the 49th minute Josh Maxwell broke down the left hand side and was taken down on the edge of the Cappry box. Nathan Maxwell wasted no time in despatching the resulting free kick and Eany were level.
In the 58th minute Eany grabbed a second with what was almost a carbon copy of their first goal except this time it was Kyle Campbell who was fouled on the edge of the box after a pass from Josh Maxwell. Nathan Maxwell stepped up once again and almost burst the net with his conversion.
Cappry struggled to find their feet and despite a late flourish they failed to test the Eany keeper.
In the final minute Kyle Campbell’s shot from the edge of the box sruck the underside of the crossbar and bounced on the line after the keeper had saved from a Jack Byrne effort.
If ever there was a game of two halves then this was it but it was Eany who finished stronger and it was enough to send them into their final game of the group stages needing only a draw to top their group.