Cobh Ramblers 2 Bray Wanderers 1
Bray’s 2023 U17 season ended abruptly when they fell to a narrow 2-1 EA SPORTS LOI Academy MU17 Quarter Final Shield away defeat to Cobh.
A goal in each period sent Ramblers into the final four at the Stephen Ireland astro on Saturday afternoon.
The home team started the brightest, winning a flurry of corners and came close with a header which away keeper Alex Kearney touched onto the crossbar.
But Wanderers – who fielded Alain Kizenga, Philip Cooney, and Billy O’Neill after their first team exploits the night before against Finn Harps – grew into the game.
O’Neill had a chance saved by home custodian Daniels Lakis when through on goal while soon after, Ethan Cheese’s goal-bound volley was pushed away by Lakis.
A flurry of activity just before the half hour mark led to Cork outfit taking the lead.
Luke Smith was deemed to have blocked the ball on the line with his hand. The resulting penalty though was superbly saved by Alex Kearney but only cleared for a throw in.
The ball was crossed back into the box. Although it appeared that Kearney had the ball in his hands, play was however allowed to continue. The ball broke free from the challenge and Conor Meaney tapped the ball into the open net.
In the second half, the visitors never really got going.
Ramblers doubled their lead on 50 minutes, with Olann McCarthy Donovan finding the net from distance.
The Green and White’s did rally late on. And pulled one back in the 85th minute when Ronan Dawson got on the end of a cross to head in.
Bray Wanderers: Alexander Kearney; Jack Nolan, Paddy Kildee-Doolan, Alain Kizenga, Luke Smith; Ronan Langan, Ethan Cheese; Kian Dowling, Rhys Knight, Phillip Cooney; Billy O’Neill.
Subs: Ronan Dawson, Aidan Kane, Dylan Ryan, Adam Reid, David Winkler.
Pictures: Cobh Sports.