U-16 Benny Atkinson Cup final
Corinthian 4 (Ian Stewart 2, Andrew Malcolm, Jonathon Lewis) Monkstown 4 (David Cole, Johnny Byrnes, Max Bradley, Lee Cole); Monkstown won 5-3 on strokes
The sizable amount of early risers at Grange Road on St Patrick’s Day were greeted with a curtain-raiser to savour as Monkstown and Corinthian played out a cracker, sharing eight goals before the Town eventually took the tie on penalty strokes 5-3.
Fast and furious throughout, Andrew Malcolm got the scoring underway in jig-time, whipping home a corner in the fourth minute but David Cole cancelled out that effort with a drag-flick of his own.
And Johnny Byrnes gave the sky-blues the lead for the first time in the 20th minute with a truly incredible strike, arcing a first-time aerial from the right edge of the circle in off the stanchion at break-neck speed.
The reds, though, were back on terms when Stephen Reid raced into the area to earn a corner – one of five set-pieces his stickwork drew – which Ian Stewart dragged home.
It concluded the scoring for the first half though there were numerous other chances. Jordan Sutton’s 3-D skills created plenty of early havoc, John Cummins’ reverse hit the sideboard while Byrnes also struck a good shot off his left hand side as play swung from end to end. Aran Rooney and Neil Pelow, meanwhile, impressed at the heart of either defence.
The chances kept rolling after the break, Jonathon Lewis’ delightful dink just drifted over before Monkstown took back the advantage in the 59th minute as Max Bradley rolled in a rebound after Robbie Clarke did well to block down a Cole drag.
The rebound, though, fell to a Town stick and two shots later the winger was on hand to bag the lead. It only lasted 60 seconds, though, as Stewart produced a composed finish that sent the game into silver goal extra-time.
Both sides had corner chances in the first period to no avail but Lee Cole’s long range deflection from brother David’s long ball made it 4-3 in the second. He did well to get a touch behind his back and Jamie Bourne’s run left AJ Browne unsighted momentarily for the ball to sneak in.
But Lewis made strokes a necessity with a final hooter corner move, switched right and flicked in at the near post.
Monkstown converted all five of their efforts, handing them the title after Corinthian’s third stroke went wide.
The game also marked a positive day for the Leinster Umpire Development Programme, with participant Karl Chapple officiating the final. Alison Keogh, another young whistle-blower on the programme, is currently taking charge of fixtures in the Kate Russell Cup.
Corinthian: AJ Browne, Robbie Clarke, Neil Pelow, David Shaw, Dylon Shirley, Jonathon Lewis, Jonathon Roberts, Andrew Malcolm, Ian Stewart, Alan Oglesby, Jordan Sutton, Ciaran O’Shea, Stephen Reid, Jack Perdue, Darragh Walsh, David Howard
Monkstown: Stephen Wolfe, Jonathon Codd, Gavin Browne, Oisin O’Halloran, John Cummins, Ivan Moloney, Johnny Byrnes, David Cole, Andrew Orr, Aran Rooney, Lee Cole, Craig Kingston, Ryan Hohn, Andrew Browne, Max Bradley
* For more photos from the Benny Atkinson U-16 Cup final, click here