The 2019 Irish U17 Cup Tournament took place at the Leisureplex in Lisburn over the weekend of January 25-27th 2019.
St Vincents entered the weekend with coaches Louise Hennessy (Girls), Juan Iglesias (Boys) and George Dunne (Boys Assistant Coach) quietly confident that their players were well prepared and in good form to mount a serious challenge for medals. Both teams remain unbeaten halfway through their respective 2018/19 National Leagues for this age category (the 2018/19 U16 Leagues and 2019 U17 Cups are both open to players born in 2002 and later). Many of our players gained vital tournament experience during the 2018 National U17 Cups at the same venue in January 2018 where our Girls were crowned Champions and our boys collected Silver medals after losing a thrilling final by the narrowest possible margin after a penalty shootout.
Drawn in Group B, our girls produced two solid performances on Saturday against a young Bangor team (4-11: 0-3, 1-3, 1-3, 2-2) and an emerging and well-coached North Dublin team (12-4: 3-0, 3-2, 4-2, 2-0) to top the group and set up a Sunday morning semi-final against old rivals Tribes from Galway in a repeat of last year's final.
The semi-final got off to a slow start and our early shooting was uncharacteristically poor but some good defending kept things scoreless at the end of the first quarter. In Q2, Tribes took an early lead but a goal from team captain Cliona Colvin and two from Keri Noonan calmed the nerves and gave us a 3-1 lead as the teams changed ends for halftime. During an exciting third quarter the team faced a wave of pressure from Tribes and had a total of five players excluded but good defence and some great saves from Jennifer Dunne limited Tribes to just a single goal from those 5 "man-up" situations. Cliona added a brace to leave the score 5-2 at the end of Q3. In a well-controlled final quarter, we added two goals through Keri and Katie Hynes and young Áine Hennessy was unlucky to see a late penalty come back off the post. Final Score 7-2 (0-0, 3-1, 2-1, 2-0).
In the final, we faced Coach Ruth McGuigan and her Diamonds team from Belfast who also had an unbeaten run to the final with Group victories over Tribes (2-1) and Cathal Brugha (11-6) followed by a semifinal win over North Dublin (6-3). The final was expected to be a highly competitive and closely fought affair between these two well-matched teams and it didn't disappoint. Many of the players know each other well from past national league, national cup and inter-provincial encounters as well as from training and competing together on Irish National Teams.
Coach Louise set her team up with a game-plan based on strong team and individual defence with the aim of controlling the game and limiting the goal scoring opportunities for Diamonds key players while also creating opportunities for our players to score.
Keri got St Vincents off to a great start with two unanswered goals in the first three minutes but strong defence from two well-drilled teams meant that we then had over nine nail-biting minutes where neither team could score before Cliona made the breakthrough to make it 0-3. Maebh McGurk replied for Diamonds to leave the score at 1-3 as the teams changed ends at halftime. Cliona scored at the start of Q3 but Diamonds replied with two goals of their own to leave St Vincents ahead by the smallest of margins at the end of the third quarter at 3-4. The tension was incredible as the teams went end-to-end for over five minutes with strong defence and great goalkeeping preventing any goals before Cliona Colvin finally ensured a St Vincents victory with a goal with 1:49 remaining. Final Score 3-5 (0-2, 1-1, 2-1, 0-1)
With some great defensive play and an amazing four hat-tricks in four games, Cliona Colvin was a deserved recipient of the award for the Tournament's Most Valuable Player.
St Vincents Results and Scorers (Girls)
|Bangor (4-11)||Nth Dublin (12-4)||Tribes (7-2)||Diamonds (3-5)|
|5||Cliona Colvin (MVP)||3||4||3||3||13|
St Vincents Results and Scorers (Boys)
|Clontarf (11-5)||Cú Chulainn (4-15)||Clonard (9-5)||Nth Dublin (10-5)||Corrib (16-5)|
|1||Adam Child (MVP)|
|9||Alex San Emeterio||3||1||1||3||2||10|
Full Tournament Details
Gold: St Vincents (Boys and Girls)
Silver: Diamonds (Girls) and Corrib (Boys)
Bronze: Tribes (Girls) and North Dublin (Boys)
Tournament Director Decky McKerr published the Tournament Guide and this is available to download here.
Draw & Groups
This year we had 8 teams entered into the Boys and 6 teams in the Girls competitions. These were drawn into groups at an NWPC Meeting in early January as follows:
|Girls A||Girls B||Boys A||Boys B|
|Tribes||Bangor||Cathal Brugha||Cú Chulainn|
|Cathal Brugha||St Vincents||Corrib||St Vincents|
All matches were 4 x 6 mins in the group stages and 4 x 7 mins in the semi final and final stages. One Timeout per team was permitted throughout the group stages and two timeouts in the semi finals and finals stages.
Match Schedule & Results
The schedule of matches and the results were:
|Friday 25th Jan|
|1||1715||Boys A||Cathal Brugha||15-2||Drogheda|
|2||1800||Boys B||Cú Chulainn||2-9||Clonard|
|3||1845||Boys A||Corrib||7-5||North Dublin|
|4||1930||Boys B||St Vincents||11-5||Clontarf|
|Saturday 26 Jan|
|6||0900||Girls B||Bangor||6-7||North Dublin|
|7||0945||Boys A||Cathal Brugha||3-27||Corrib|
|8||1030||Boys B||Cú Chulainn||4-15||St Vincents|
|9||1115||Girls A||Cathal Brugha||2-3||Tribes|
|10||1200||Girls B||Bangor||4-11||St Vincents|
|11||1245||Boys A||Drogheda||1-13||North Dublin|
|13||1415||Girls A||Cathal Brugha||6-11||Diamonds|
|14||1500||Girls B||St Vincents||12-4||North Dublin|
|15||1545||Boys A||Cathal Brugha||1-11||North Dublin|
|16||1630||Boys B||Cú Chulainn||6-12||Clontarf|
|18||1800||Boys B||St Vincents||9-5||Clonard|
|Sunday 27 Jan|
|19||0830||Girls S/F 1||Diamonds||6-3||North Dublin|
|20||0930||Girls S/F 2||St Vincents||7-2||Tribes|
|21||1030||Boys S/F 1||Corrib||9-8||Clonard|
|22||1130||Boys S/F 2||St Vincents||10-5||North Dublin|
|23||1230||Girls 5th/6th P/o||Cathal Brugha||16-7||Bangor|
|24||1330||Girls Bronze||North Dublin||4-5||Tribes|
|25||1430||Boys Bronze||Clonard||6-7||North Dublin|
|26||1545||Girls Final||Diamonds||3-5||St Vincents|
|Girls Medal Presentation|
|27||1700||Boys Final||Corrib||5-16||St Vincents|
|Boys Medal Presentation|
The Group Tables finished as follows:
|Girls Group A|
|Girls Group B|
|Boys Group A|
|Boys Group B|