After a three week break due to school exams the League of Ireland Academy resumed on the weekend.
Kerry FC had 3 teams in action. The under 19 and 17 teams had stunning victories. However the under 15 side lost out despite a heroic effort.
Pride of place this week goes to the Kerry FC under 19 team who had an unbelievable victory away to a high flying Cork, in Bishopstown stadium on Sunday. Kerry got off to a dream start when Cian Brosnan set up Venis Jahiri to fire in a screamer after just 3 minutes. Cork City rallied after this setback and dominated for the next quarter.They eventually bagged an equaliser in the 28th minute when Kelliher scored. Kerry keeper Richie Healy produced some top class saves late in the half to ensure the sides go in level at the break.
The second half produced some top class football, with both sides creating chances. Kennedy Amechi and Cian Brosnan did trojan work in midfield for Kerry. In an absorbing encounter Kerry took the lead in the 75th minute. Cian Brosnan set up Killian Keogh to fire Kerry ahead. Cork rallied in the closing stages and Kerry had to defend in numbers to repel the home side. Kerry sealed a great league victory in the 87th minute when Oisin Breen’s through ball was dispatched by Cianan Cooney. The win was based on a tremendous team performance and a massive work rate by the team on the day. Man of the Match was Cianan Cooney.
On Saturday the 17 team hosted Wexford FC and after an entertaining encounter won on a 5/1 scoreline. It was the visitors that took the lead in this league match. Brandon Stafford finished off a good passing movement in the 5th minute. However Kerry were on parity within 3 minutes when Andrew Kerins set up Luke Palmer to score. In a very even first half both sides had chances. However it was Kerry that went in at half time ahead. In the last attack of the half Jamie Forde did well to hook back a ball that looked to be going wide and Luke Palmer volleyed home.
Kerry got off to a great start in the second half. The half was only 4 minutes old when Cian Beirne put Andrew Kerins through to score. A minute later Wexford had a player sent off for a second bookable offence and all looked rosy for Kerry. However this seemed to galvanise the visitors. Darragh Foley in goal produced a stunning one handed saved to turn a shot from Scanlon onto a post.Adam Finn also made some great tackles to deny a certain goal. Kerry gradually got back on track thanks to great work by Tom Healy in midfield. They scored late goals via Szymon Jasinski and Pierce Lowth following sustained running by Christy Burke, to record a 5/1 victory. This was another great team performance against a strong Wexford side. Man of the Match was Adam Finn.
On Sunday the Kerry FC under 15 team travelled to Waterford to take on a highly rated home side in the Micheal Hayes Cup. Kerry started in whirlwind fashion and were unlucky not to score in the 3rd minute. Pierce Lowth was denied by a great save from the Waterford keeper. Disaster struck on the double for Kerry in the 12th minute when a Kerry defender instinctively handled a ball that was goalbound. The Kerry player received a red card and Gavin Mitchell dispatched the penalty, to put Waterford ahead. Kerry to their credit never threw in the towel and continued to play some good football despite being down to 10 men. Cody McMahon was a tower of strength at the back, repelling waves of Waterford attacks. Ethan Ballard produced another swashbuckling display in midfield. Rob Keane, with his constant running in attack was always a threat to the Waterford back four. Despite Kerry’s gallant efforts Waterford added further goals in the 77th and 85th minutes as Kerry tired. Man of the Match was Cody McMahon.