SWILLY ROVERS’ sojourn in the FAI Umbro Under-17 Challenge Cup was ended by Cork’s Wilton United this afternoon.
Swilly Rovers 0 Wilton United 3
Jordan Murray, Rob Wise and Lee Cooke netted the goals as Wilton advanced and shortened the journey back to Leeside.
To have lost by three was harsh on Tony McNamee’s Swilly, although it was clear from the outset that Wilton represented a step up in terms of the calibre of opposition they were facing.
Swilly stayed in the game for long enough, but when Wise made it 2-0 in the 68th minute it was curtains.
It was a move straight off the training ground, but the ease with which it was allowed to be executed will have hurt the home side – who had to switch the venue to Curragh Athletic’s New Camp Complex with Swilly Park unplayable.
John Weir played a free kick low down the left channel, beyond the Swilly wall, and it was perfectly placed for the on-rushing Wise to fire past Dane Dunworth from the left-hand side of the penalty box.
It was a goal that outlined Wilton’s pedigree with Swilly a little inhibited at this level given that this Cup competition is the only chance for this group of players to line out together.
And yet they did have their moments, but their resistance had been broken in the 38th minute by Murray.
Rory Byrne’s ball in from the left invited Murray to have a pop and his finish was powerful and precise, the bullet arching past Dunworth to the roof of the net.
Up to that point, Swilly had held firm under pressure, but Wilton threatened on several occasions.
Byrne shot wide and a half-volleye by Thomas Sheehan was wide before a timely intervention by Cathair Doherty cut out the advances of Murray.
When Peter O’Driscoll headed wide from a cracking cross from Murray there was the growing sense that it was only a matter of time – and so it proved as Murray soon opened the scoring.
Swilly – who defeated Cork opposition Riverstown 5-1 in December – put in a valiant comeback trail, but Ryan Flood and Ryan O’Donnell were both thwarted in their endeavours while Brad Patteeson couldn’t get a shot away in a crowded scenario in the ‘D’.
When Wise doubled the lead, Wilton were headed for the quarter-finals, but Swilly came close to making their opponents sweat only for O’Donnell to see one shot blocked and a follow-up attempt – with the goal screaming before him – go wide of the mark.
Cooke was the game’s outstanding performer and, after being denied twice in quick succession by Dunworth – first with his legs and secondly after making himself big in a one-on-one – he made it 3-0 in the 84th minute.
Wise made the initial break, Sheehan provided the pass and Cooke’s finish was expertly taken to seal a deserved win for Wilton.
Swilly Rovers: Dane Dunworth; Anthony Gallagher (Andreas Afxentiou ’68), Cathair Doherty, Ronan Doherty, Brad Patterson; Ryan Toye, Conor McHugh (Brian Diver ’80), Ryan Flood, Cameron Gormley, Mikey Sweeney (Ryan O’Donnell ’53), Paul Bradley.
Wilton United: Karl Walsh; Rob Wise, Peter O’Driscoll, Thomas Sheehan, Killian Murray; Jordan Murray, John Weir, Jack Sheilds, James O’Sullivan, Rory Byrne; Lee Cooke (Sean Grace ’86).
Referee: Kevin Logue (Cranford).Tags: