Treble delight for Pat’s

By Ciarán Kirk

IT HAS been a tremendous week for St Patrick’s Athletic’s underage teams with their Under 17s, 15s and 13s all capturing their respective SSE Airtricity League titles, writes Ciarán Kirk.

A thrilling 2-1 triumph over neighbouring rivals Shamrock Rovers saw the Under 15s complete their march to their respective title while the Under 13s required penalties to eventually see off Bray Wanderers in their decider.

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St Pat’s celebrate after winning the SSE Airtricity U17 League Final

The club’s Under 17s put Bohemians to the sword with a 4-0 win in their decider in Richmond Park on Tuesday.

Bohs had an early chance to take the lead after Evan Ferguson’s shot was saved off the line, but little over five minutes later it was Pat’s who took the lead.

Darragh Burns dribbled through two defenders and crossed for Ben McCormack to finish easily from 10 yards.

With just five minutes to go in the first half, Jamie Doyle latched onto a long ball from the Saints’ captain Cian Kelly and flicked it over the Bohs’ keeper to double their advantage before McCormack netted his second and Pat’s third.

After the break Bohemians went close to opening their account, with efforts from Tom Considine and Precious Omochere travelling marginally wide.

Kyle Conway’s 25-yard effort smashed the bar for Pats with 20 minutes to go, but Troy Stedman’s finish meant Pat’s finished strongly to take the title.

Played in Tallaght Stadium, the Under 15 decider saw the Inchicore side take the lead 12 minutes in thanks to a fantastic effort by Jack O’Reilly from just outside the box.

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The Inchicore club also handed the SSE Airtricity U13 League title

Rovers’ Kevin Zefi went close to an equaliser after half an hour, but his shot was saved by Kian Clements.

And instead, Pat’s doubled their advantage 12 minutes after the half time recess when Dara McGuiness finished well after a lobbed ball into his path by captain Glory Nzingo.

Rovers started to get a foothold on the tie, with Man of the Match Sean Jones Carey’s free kick being tipped over by Clements, but Sam Curtis saw the ball over the line from the resulting corner to give the Tallaght side a lifeline.

The Pat’s netminder was called into action again late on to turn Michael Leddy’s strike around the upright before seeing Kieran Cruise’s effort over the crossbar as the Inchicore side held on for the title.

This victory came hot on the heels of the club’s 7-6 win on penalties against Bray Wanderers in the Under 13 League title showdown.

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Ben Quinn and Glory Nzingo lift the SSE Airtricity Under15 prize

The perfectly matched sides remained scoreless after extra time but ‘keeper Rian Hogan saved in the shootout to clinch the win for the Inchicore outfit.

Pat’s top goalscorer this season, Brian Moore was unlucky not to find the net for the Saints in regulation time, seeing two great strikes saved by Bray’s Derry Moloney in the second half.

Bray forced Hogan to make a smart stop just minutes into extra time, but again it was Pat’s who were stronger and they almost served up a winner when Roland Uzuma struck fractionally too high just as extra time was drawing to a close.

In an almost flawless shootout, there were 13 successful strikes, but in the end, Hogan was the hero for St Pat’s with his crucial stop.

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