IT WILL BE another busy weekend on the schoolboys’ inter-league front, as Kilkenny have two teams gunning for All-Ireland glory.
The under-12s, under the guidance of Ronnie Grace and Peter Murtagh, will travel to Dublin for their Leinster inter-league games. The Kittens will be heading for Walkinstown to play against the North Dublin, South Dublin and Wexford Leagues on Saturday and Sunday.
“This is a big step-up for these players, who have moved from under-10 to under-12 with the change in age gradings,” said Grace. “That has meant moving from seven-a-side to the full game and learning the technical side of the sport, but if they perform in Dublin as they have in training I’ll be very happy.
“There has been great interest from the players and excellent attendance records since we started training in September,” he added. “These young lads are mad to learn all they can about soccer.”
Kilkenny will play North Dublin at 12 noon and Wexford at 3pm on Saturday. Their last game is against South Dublin on Sunday at 12 noon.
The squad will train on the all-weather pitch in Derdimus at 5.20pm this evening (Thursday). They will leave for Dublin from the Watershed at 9.15am on Saturday.
Under-12 squad: Niall Canning, Michael Walsh (Bridge United); Peter Keyes, Dylan Doyle (Clover United); Cathal Holland (Deen Celtic); Sean Minogue, Gavyn Blanchfield, Fergus Byrne, Robbie Dowling, Matthew Russell (Evergreen); Dylan Thomas (Fort Rangers); Sean Comerford, Owen Dowling, Evan West (Freebooters); Sean Holden (Highview Athletic); Cathal Jordan (Lions); Justin Cahill (Ormonde Villa); Dean Mason, Daragh Corcoran, Eoin Walsh, Eoin Cody (Southend United); Barry Lennon (Stoneyford United); Ned Kirwan, Jack Barcoe, Colm Whelan, Shane Maher (Thomastown United).
Meanwhile the Kilkenny & District League’s under-15s will play the North Dublin Schoolboys in a winner-takes-all game at Derdimus on Saturday (kick-off 12 noon).
The Cats, managed by Mick Manley and Mark Brennan, will go up against the Dubs for a place in the All-Ireland stages of their inter-league tournament. The two sides were due to play in Carlow at the end of January, but bad weather forced the cancellation of their game. With the teams locked on six points apiece, a win for either team will guarantee them top spot in the group and a national semi-final at home against Kildare in May.
Kilkenny got off to a flyer in their group, handing hosts Carlow a 5-2 hammering in their opening game. A David Doyle hat-trick and goals from Craig Hayes and Ronan Coffey gave them all three points in what was a slick performance on the all-weather pitch at IT Carlow. Hayes (2) and Coffey were on the scoresheet as they bagged their second win with a 3-0 result against Wexford.
The winner of the Kilkenny v North Dublin match will earn top spot in Group One and, with it, a shot at the All-Ireland title.
Under-15 squad: Mikey Brennan, Kevin McDonald, Aidan Hynes (Bridge United); Aidan Tuohy, Brian Crowdle, Eoin Kelly, Dylan Jordan, Jordan Brett, Ronan Coffey (Evergreen); David Doyle, Craig Hayes, Andy Gaffney, Christian Lapuiste, Joe O’Dea, Shane O’Shaughnessy, Mark O’Neill (Freebooters); Jason Lacey (Highview Athletic); Gary Bryan (captain), Robbie Buckley, Ross Butler, Cian Loy, Nathan Cody (Ormonde Villa); Aaron Keogh, Sam Watkins (Thomastown United).