Kyle Spiers’ County Down Junior side were comprehensively beaten by a strong St. Kevins boys under 16 side in the second game of the weekend in Dublin. Playing against an older outfit the Down lads were always going to be up against it, and so it proved. St Kevins took an early lead after two minutes. After winning the ball in midfield the left winger was played through on goal and he made no mistake as he slotted past Canavan in the Down goal. Down responded almost immediately after neat interplay between Kelly and Jack Sharvin saw the two-footed left winger Chambers blast the ball into the corner of the net only for it to be disallowed dubiously for offside. Minutes later St Kevins made it 2-0 after a ball in from the left was finished off with a neat finish from their centre forward. Despite the scoreline County Down refused to give up as Sharvin, who was impressing in central midfield won the ball of his opposition number before skipping past the centre half only to be cruelly hacked down. He dusted himself down and tested the keeper with the resulting free-kick. However any hope of a Down comeback was dispersed when St Kevins made it 3-0 after their striker slid the ball past the Down goalkeeper. St Kevins continued to press home their advantage as they looked to add to their total. Canavan in the Down goal was on hand to deny St Kevins on several occasions with some outstanding saves.
Despite the work of Cannavan it was 4-0 soon after as St Kevins centre forward who was a thorn in the Down defence all night, turned and shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner. The Down lads looked like they were feeling the effects of two games in two days as St Kevins continued to work the Down back four of Kelly, Marshall, McCloy and Nelson. St Kevins made it 5 with a looping header as the centre forward netted his hat-trick. It was 6 soon after with another header following a neat bit of play down the left hand side. St Kevins then made it 7-0 as Down were punished for not clearing their lines as the left winger drove home from outside the box. That final goal seemed to jolt the young Down lads into action again as they pulled one back through scott McArthur. Sharvin got his just rewards for his hard-working performance as he broke through from midfield and slotted it past the onrushing keeper to make it 7-2. Minutes later after Sharvin was at it again as he burst into the box, before being bundled over by clumsy challenge. Sharvin took the resulting penalty and scored the rebound after the keeper saved his first attempt. Despite the late flurry of goals the Kyle Spiers County Down side will have learnt a harsh lesson as they struggled against a strong St Kevins under 15 side. However with still over a month until the Dale Farm Milk Cup kick off in earnest there is still plenty of time for County Down to learn from their mistakes. Kyle Spiers Junior squad will hope to do better as they take on a representative side from Eircom league side, Shelbourne at Gormaston College. Kick off is at 1030 am.
Co Down followed up their 3 nil victory on Friday night with another excellent performance as they outclassed St Kevins under 17’s 3-0 on saturday. St Kevins started the brighter of the two sides and almost opened the scoring when good movement from their centre forward saw him race clear of thew Down defence but his final effort lack conviction and was easily saved by Down goalkeeper Kane. The game was evenly balanced and both defences were on top. However this all changed on 30 minutes when Rushe got on the end of a lovely through ball from Dempster to slot it past the onrushing goalkeeper to give John Bailie’s premier side the lead. St Kevin’s responded almost immediately and had the best chance of the first half when poor defending allowed the St Kevins centre forward to evade the Down defence only for his shot to miss the target. Drylie then engineered himself a bit of space only for his shot to miss the target from the edge of the box. In a concentrated period of Down pressure Rice went close right on half time as his header was well saved by the St Kevin goalkeeper.
Down added their second goal on 46 minutes as Rushe who was threatening throughout skipped by his marker to slot past the keeper from 10 yards out. By this stage Down were in complete control and Newell went close to adding a Down third, shooting from an acute angle. Salley was then denied another goal but the St Kevin’s defender was on hand to clear the ball of the line. Neale made it 3-0 on 76 minutes firing in emphatically from 8 yards out following unselfish platy from Coffey. John Bailie’s premier squad put in another commanding performance and were well worth their victory. With one game left of the weekend against a representative side from Eircom league side Dundalk in Dundalk, John Bailie will have plenty to mull over as he attempts to name his final 18 in the next week.