Leinster Champions League Quarter Final

Tullow CS 2 2 Balbriggan CC (Tullow win 6 5 on sudden death penalties)

Tullow community school advanced to the semi-final of the U19 Leinster Champions league division 2 on Tuesday last after a dramatic game in Tullow. Having won the south-east league Tullow were drawn against the North East Winners Balbriggan and both teams showed why they won their local leagues. Tullow drew first blood when some good passing in midfield found TJ Kavanagh through on goal and he slotted home past the advancing keeper to gibe Tullow the lead after just 10 minutes. The visitors settled into the game but found it hard to get past the Tullow defence which was been well marshalled by captain Ryan Clarke and stand in centre half Conor Doyle who was outstanding all game. The Tullow midfield duo of Craig Staunton and Stephen Metcalfe were having a great game and in-between preventing the visitors from getting chances they were busy setting Ross Hanley and Griffin Kennedy up and both were unlucky not to double the home teams lead. With five minutes remaining in the first half the visitors drew level with a very well worked goal down the left wing which saw the winger beat three men before crossing across the goal line for the centre forward to tap in. Tullow determined not to let the goal get to them restored their lead on the stroke of halftime when brilliant deter mention from Shane Smith and Griffin Kennedy saw them create a tap in for Ross Hanley. The second half was very tense with all 22 players giving everything on the pitch and the final fifteen minutes saw many players go down with cramp. With just two minutes remaining the visitors equalised after a goal mouth scramble from a corner. The Tullow players were dead on their feet and with no subs gave everything for the extra twenty minutes to send the game into penalties. The shootout was to prove as tense as the game with TJ Kavanagh, Conor Doyle, Alan Maher, Griffin Kennedy and Ryan Clarke scoring all five penalties along with the visitors the game went to sudden death. The visitors were first up and the Tullow keeper Alan Maher pulled off a great save, this left Ross Hanley with a penalty to win the match and he made no mistake when he smashed home into the bottom corner to send the home team wild with celebrations.

Tullow Team

Alan Maher, Nick Mullins, Dylan Hanley, Ryan Clarke, Conor Doyle, Stephen Metcalfe, Craig Staunton, TJ Kavanagh, Shane Smith, Griffin Kennedy, Ross Hanly and Joe Morris