SFAI Vice-Chairman Pat Kelly, in his final act as a member of the SFAI for over 35 years, presents Waterford Schoolboy League Kennedy Cup captain Jack Twomey with the Plate after his side’s win over the Galway League at the University of Limerick on Saturday last.
New Balance SFAI Kennedy Plate Final 2019
GALWAY SCHOOLBOY LEAGUE 0
WATERFORD SCHOOLBOY LEAGUE 2
JACK TWOMEY PEN `4, CALUM FLYNN `46
After an excellent performance in their Kennedy Cup Plate semi-final that resulted in a lone 1-0 win thanks to a Conor McCabe finish against the North Dublin League, the Waterford Schoolboy League ended a great week at the New Balance Kennedy Cup with final success against the Galway Schoolboy League.
Although winning the plate section of the tournament was a superb outcome from these players, it also helps the league in their bid to regain top seed status for next year’s Kennedy Cup and they’ll know on Wednesday when the SFAI meet to whether they’ve achieved this fate.
The Plate final was a game that they deserved to win despite their opponents missing a fine chance to go in front inside the opening minute. Max McDonagh got free down the right-side of the penalty area to put the ball on a plate for Gusi Khumolo, but he failed to hit the target from deep inside the penalty area.
Bassit Ishola sprayed the ball out to the right-wing for Conor McCabe at the other end just sixty seconds later, but his angled effort went over the bar before Waterford struck the front from the penalty spot with four minutes on the clock.
Harry Sharpe played the ball over the top for McCabe to race onto on the right-side of the area and after getting the better of Conor Keady, the defender tripped him over that left referee Luke Whitty with little option but to point to the spot and Jack Twomey beat Galius Babonas from 12 yards.
Calum Flynn was just off target with a good left-footed strike to double the lead two minutes later before Waterford had a let-off at the other end on seven minutes when Khumolo got on the end of a McDonagh right-wing cross, but his goalbound effort took a deflection that took the ball past Bobby Drohan’s post.
Jack Douglas went close to adding a second goal on 16 minutes when the central defender got on the end of a Flynn right-wing corner kick, but his header went over the bar before Waterford’s star striker Conor McCabe was forced off injured to be replaced by Josh Hegarty.
It was Hegarty that was clearly fouled in the area five minutes later by Conor Keady and with assistant referee Adam Stafford flagging for a penalty kick, referee Luke Whitty waved down the flag and played on in what a very poor decision from the official.
With Waterford having a lot of possession in the second-half and playing some excellent football, they scored a second goal that settled the tie on 46 minutes when Josh Hegarty did all the spade work out on the right-side to cross to the back post where Calum Flynn was on hand to blast home from 16 yards.
Galway were awarded a very harsh penalty by referee Luke Whitty with two minutes remaining on the clock when he judged that Charlie Whitty to have fouled Max McDonagh, but Bobby Drohan did well diving to his right to keep out Darren Darcy’s spot kick.
The final whistle sounded minutes later as Waterford celebrated a fifth-placed tournament finish and Plate champions with SFAI vice-chairman and WSFL secretary Pat Kelly, in his final act after 35 years at the Kennedy Cup, presenting victorious captain Jack Twomey with the Plate amid great celebrations.
GALWAY SCHOOLBOY LEAGUE: Galius Babonas, Patrick Baranyi, Milo O’Malley, Conor Keady, Ekene Unorka, Victor Tuchelis, Ben Costelloe, Mark O’Halloran, Piotrek Syzmaski, Darren Darcy, Michael Okachie, Andrew Horan, James Lakua, Oisin Coyne, Eric Diarra, Stephen Curley, Anthony Sweeney, Gusi Khumolo, Max McDonagh, Kyle Gilmore
WATERFORD SCHOOLBOY LEAGUE: Bobby Drohan, Chris Kocherackel, Jack Twomey, Jack Douglas, Charlie Whitty, AJ Bowman, Harry Sharpe, Bassit Ishola, Conor Keane, Callum Flynn, Conor McCabe, Josh Hegarty, Jimmy Byrnes, Callum McFadden, Adam Crowley, Davin Power, Peter Ellickson, Sam Lineen, Dylan Harte, Dara Kavanagh
Referee: Luke Whitty (Wexford) assisted by Billy Noonan (Cork) and Adam Stafford (South Tipperary).