U15’s edge out Cobh to finish third in EA Sports National League of Ireland Phase 2 (Tier 2)

Cobh Ramblers 2 Bray Wanderers 3

An 89th minute goal from Alain Kizenga saw Bray claim third place in the U15 EA Sports National League of Ireland Phase 2 (Tier 2).

In atrocious weather conditions in St. Colman’s Park on Sunday afternoon, Wanderers came out on top in a breathless final game of the 2022 season against ten-man Cobh.

At the same time at the SET Arena Astro, Shelbourne overcame Waterford FC 4-0 to win the title.

The Blues were level with the Wicklow team before kick-off. But a first away success in the competition saw the Green and Whites finish ahead of them.

Both teams battled through the difficult conditions in the first period of 30 minutes. Cobh shaded it though, hitting the crossbar and away goalkeeper Sam Baker forced into making some very good saves. At the other end, Max Colbert stung the hands of the home custodians’ hands with a fine effort.

With conditions deteriorating, the home team eventually made the breakthrough in the 36th minute. Ciaran Galvin latched onto a through ball, rounded Baker and slotted into the open net.

But Bray found the equaliser 15 minutes later.

Substitute Daragh Emmet finished well after Rhys Knight put him in on goal with a perfectly weighted pass. Remarkably, it was Knight’s 14th assist of the campaign in all competitions.

The teams were only level for just two minutes before Cobh regained the lead. A corner into the box deflected in for an own goal.

With just 11 minutes of normal time left on the clock, Emmett was brought down on the edge of the Ramblers box with the referee judging the defender to be last man and produced a red card. Emmett stepped up to drill the resulting free kick into the bottom corner.

Emmett was then denied his hat-trick moments later – astonishingly by a puddle. His shot into the open goal but it was stopped before it crossed the line by the water on the pitch.

But the closing stages of the game, some quick thinking from a corner by Emmett and Philip Cooney, led to Emmett’s shot falling into Kizenga’s path with the defender bundling the ball over the line.

Bray Wanderers: Sam Baker; Darragh Butler, Fionn Murray, Ronan Dawson, Ciaran Leeson; Aidan Kane, Eric Schütte, Ethan Cheese; Rhys Knight; Max Colbert, Philip Cooney.

Subs: Leon O’Sullivan, Dylan Bourke, Alain Kizenga, Darragh Emmett.