Academy review: August 14th/15th

Five of our Academy sides were in action as the regular season began to wind down, this weekend being the penultimate game for all of our lads teams aside from the U17s.

The U19s faced St. Patrick’s Athletic at the Sean Fallon Centre on Sunday with just two points separating the sides at the top of the league. Pats nicked an early lead in a really open and entertaining first half that saw both teams seemingly taking turns to attack. Kailin Barlow thought he had made it 1-1 on the stroke of half time but his curling free kick hit the underside of the crossbar, then, seconds later, he was given a second yellow card as he tried to win back possession in the ensuing scramble in the box. The second half was therefore far cagier as Pats were happy to maintain possession and Rovers best chances came from set pieces. As the game wore on the home side committed men forward looking for an equaliser while Pats were threatening on the break, and it was one such break that led to the dismissal of Daragh Ellison for a professional foul on 87 minutes. To add insult to injury, the resulting free kick was curled low past James Robinson to make it 0-2. Rovers now play Athlone Town away next week in the final league game needing just a point to guarantee a top 5 spot and qualification to the 10-team champions league.

Our U17s drew 2-2 in Drogheda to finish 4th in the standings, cruelly missing out on a top 3 place by just one point. Aaron Heaney and Sam Tuohy scored our goals but the league leaders held on to send Rovers into the Shield which commences at the end of August.

Alice Lilly scored the consolation in our WU17s 2-1 defeat away to Athlone Town on Saturday evening. The result means Rovers will take part in the Shield as we lie seven points from 3rd with just two games remaining. Next week it’s a trip to Galway for our women before a home game against bottom side Bohemians.

Gary Farren scored once in each half as Rovers beat Mayo 3-2 in a fantastic game at the Showgrounds on Sunday afternoon. Both sides could have doubled their respective score but for some excellent goalkeeping at both ends. Conor Walsh scored our other goal to celebrate his call up to the Irish U18s panel. The lads now travel to Cavan next Sunday with both sides already qualified for the Shield.

The U14s were unluckily beaten by the odd goal in five in Mayo on Saturday and remain 5th in the table with one game to go. Conor Langan and Danny Woodrow scored the Sligo Rovers goals. We face Cavan/Monaghan at home next week in our final game looking to avenge a 2-1 defeat from earlier in the season and potentially move up to 4th, both sides have definitely qualified for the Shield however.

Richard Mullan