Swilly Rovers U-15s pictured before Saturday's quarter-final in Ramelton.
Two goals in the space of two first half minutes saw St. Joseph’s Boys to victory in Saturday’s SFAI U-15 National Cup quarter-final in Ramelton.
Swilly Rovers . . . 0
St. Joseph’s Boys . . . 2
In the end the Dublin club were worthy winners of this tie having been the better team over the 70 minutes.
But Swilly can hold their heads high after a brave team display. They were under the cosh for much of the first half, but they were much better after half-time and gave their all, despite the defeat.
St. Joseph’s Boys came to Ramelton as one of the dominant clubs at underage level for so many years, and they fielded a side blessed with quality.
Despite the difficult underfoot conditions, they played some excellent football and were strong in every area of the pitch.
Their stand-out player was central midfielder, Toby Owens. The No. 6 was cool and confident in possession and at times he dictated the game, showing super awareness and an ability to beat his man with comfort.
But there were other good players on display too, and Swilly deserve credit to staying in the contest right to the end.
They fell behind in unfortunate circumstances on 24 minutes when Eoin Green’s corner was headed into his own net by Swilly’s Sean Doherty.
Two minutes later it was 2-0, Callum Perry’s free kick going into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
Swilly carried more of an attacking threat in the second 35 minutes and while St. Joseph’s continued to press themselves, Doherty, Oran Brogan and Tony Gallagher were really impressive for the home side.
John Matthews in the home goal saved well from another Perry free kick and soon after Alex Rafferty headed against the post as the Dublin side sought a third.
In the end, the two goals were enough to book their place in the last four of the competition.
The Swilly players will now turn their attentions to Sunday morning’s trip to Dublin with every member of the squad also part of the U-16 panel which meets Mt. Merrion in their U-16 quarter-final.
Swilly Rovers: John Matthews, Matthew McLaughlin, Tony Gallagher, Kyle McMullen, Dillon Dorrian, Sean Doherty, Oran Brogan, Michael Murray, Eoin Logue, Frankie Campbell, Finnian O’Donnell. Subs (rolling): Mark Cannon, Conor Doohan, Jack McAuley, Tyler Durning, Kyle Burns.
St. Joseph’s Boys: Enda Minogue, Callum Perry, Darragh Meegan, Alex Rafferty, Cian Kelly, Toby Owens, Panil O’Keefe, Precious Omochere, Eoin Green, Aaron Rice, Destiny Idele. Subs (rolling): Roland Idowa, Sam Brown, Josh Meglone.
Referee: Vincent McLaughlin.
Assistants: Mick Lagan, Joe McHugh.