De La Salle 5; Stradbally 3
This was arguably the best Schoolboy League game played to date this season. It had more twists and turns than a spiral staircase and despite a stiff breeze and showers, the elements in fact added to the enjoyment last week.
De La Salle, who were beaten in a play-off for the Under-14 A League crown last season, were leading three-nil at half-time thanks to a sparkling hat-trick by right winger Darren Gray and when they scored once again early in the second period one got the feeling that the game was well and truly over.
However, when the Stradbally mentors introduced a substitute called Stephen Cliffe the course of the contest changed completely and following the exciting 70 minutes they could with a little bit of luck have taken a point from the match.
Gray scored four of De La Salle’s goals and they can thank him for chalking up their second victory of the new campaign. His first came as early as the second minute. Jack McCarthy, who was a member of the victorious Waterford team which won the Tony Forristal All-Ireland Hurling title a few weeks back, sprayed the ball out right to Gray and he squeezed it right-footed past Stradbally goalkeeper Martin Roche at the near post.
Stradbally’s Stephen Power ran into the De La Salle penalty area after seven minutes but a superb tackle by Niall Sheridan denied him a shot at goal.
Dylan Henry and Thomas Shaw then combined for the visitors but the DLS goalkeeper Conor Butler advanced to clear the danger.
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