LIMERICK sides enjoyed mixed luck in the opening series of games at this year’s Kennedy Cup U-14 inter-league competition at the University of Limerick this Monday afternoon.
The Limerick District Schoolboy League’s (LDSL) hopes of making the quarter-finals suffered a blow when losing 2-0 to the Clare Schoolboy League.
After an evenly-contested opening half, the Group 2 clash remained scoreless at half-time. However, two second half goals from Clare’s Abdul-Lai Saidi after 43 minutes and Adam Fitzpatrick from close range in the 53rd minute settled the tie in their favour.
The LDSL will need to win their remaining two group games this Tuesday and hope results elsewhere go their way to maintain their hopes of making the quarters.
The LDSL’s last success in the 32-team Kennedy Cup was in 2000 when defeating a Cork side which included current Stoke City player Stephen Ireland in their squad.
Elsewhere in Group 2 on Monday afternoon, the Limerick Desmond Schoolboy League recorded a precious 2-1 victory over the Midlands League to boost their quarter-final hopes.
The Desmond side, semi-finalists in 2015, made the perfect start when Broadford Utd’s Brian Ahern fired them in front after 13 minutes.
Ahern also bagged a smashing second goal nine minutes into the second half when, after linking up with AK United’s Michael Cuddihy, he curled a terrific shot high into the net.
While the Midlands hit back with a late goal, the Desmond side held on to record a deserved victory.
The Limerick County Schoolboy League kick-off their campaign at 7.30pm on Monday evening against the North Tipperary Schoolboy League.
The group action continues this Tuesday, June 14, with each side playing two sets of fixtures.
In Group 2, the LDSL take on the Midlands League at 10.30am, with the Limerick Desmond League facing the Clare League at the same time.
The Limerick County side take on the Wexford League in Group 5 at 12.30pm.
In the day’s second series of games, Limerick District go head-to-head with Limerick Desmond in a crucial derby clash at 4pm, with Limerick County taking on West Cork at 6pm.
The quarter-finals of the Kennedy Cup go ahead at 5pm on Wednesday, with the semi-finals set for Thursday and the final taking place at 2pm on Friday.
In all, 96 games will be played over five days at UL this week.
Leading Irish soccer figures who have played in the Kennedy Cup include current Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane, current Ireland defender John O’Shea and retired winger Damien Duff.