FAI Inter-Youth League Cup
Waterford League 4
Kilkenny League 0
The Waterford League got their campaign up and running in great style in Ozier Park on Sunday afternoon.
The squad, managed and coached by Anthony Brown and Jim ‘Dukie’ Whelan, dominated proceedings from the opening whistle and they pinned the visitors back on defence from the opening whistle and could have had the game out of sight inside the opening 20 minutes. When Jamie Brazil eventually broke the deadlock on 27 minutes there was only going to be one winner.
Kilkenny will now play the Wexford League this weekend and Waterford’s next game will be away to Wexford.
This current Waterford side is well balanced, and the bench is also strong so hopefully a long and successful campaign is in store for them. Despite the torrential rain which fell all week prior to the match the playing surface in Ozier Park was in supreme condition. Jamie Brazil turned provider for Salim Ahmed for the opening chance of the game on six minutes, but his shot was saved by Kilkenny keeper Vinny O’Grady before Brazil whipped in a brilliant left-wing corner kick a minute later only for Joe Hawkes to see his downward header go over the bar.
The young Blues continued to create the chances with Jack Brennan just failing to convert from close-range on eight minutes before John Fredrick Tamen should have done better with a chance that came his way five minutes later, but he headed a Jamie Brazil delivery narrowly wide.Brazil broke the deadlock with 27 minutes on the clock when Callum Stringer picked out the run of Ben Grace, who in turn laid the ball off into the path of the striker and he beat keeper O’Grady with a neat right-footed finish from 16 yards.
Salim Ahmed should have doubled the Waterford lead three minutes later when he got on the end of a Ravelli Kilonda delivery from the right, but he couldn’t direct his close-range effort on target.The home side grabbed a second goal that their first half performance deserved on 39 minutes when Jamie Brazil did well to play the ball into the feet of Ben Grace, who turned brilliantly before firing past Vinny O’Grady from inside the area. It was an excellent finish by the Piltown FC player.Waterford keeper Gavin Buckley, who was a mere spectator for long periods of the game, made a top save two minutes later when Cian Franey let fly with a cracking shot from distance, but his shot was superbly tipped onto the post.
Anthony Brown’s side continued to boss the tie in the second period with Jamie Brazil bringing the best out of keeper O’Grady on 49 minutes when his stunning effort on the run was tipped around the posts.
Brazil was denied a second goal when he struck the far post with a stunning effort from the left-side of the penalty area on 68 minutes before Callum Stringer stretched his sides advantage with a goal of quality three minutes later when he burst into the area and fired past Vinny O’Grady from 12 yards.
Kealon Graham brought a fine save out of the Kilkenny goalkeeper soon afterwards when he looked certain to score with a shot from the left-side of the area before Stringer grabbed his second goal, his sides fourth, in the dying seconds when finishing a pass from Jamie Brazil from just inside the area.