Street Leagues 2006
The finals of the clubs Annual street leagues took place on Sunday June 11th. The finals day is always the highlight of the schoolboy season on Corinthians when parents, coaches schoolboys and girls mix freely in a friendly family atmosphere. The day is packed with excitement, colour, drama and even the odd tear as players between the ages of five and eleven give their all in pursuit of glory.
Blessed with a beautiful summer's day, the programme featured no less than sixteen individual finals as well as the obligatory penalty competitions and other novelty events. Off the field there was plenty to cater for those not involved in the action, with clowns and face painters for the younger generation and refreshments available in the marquee for the adults.
However back to the action as spectators were treated to some fabulous football. The match of the day was undoubtedly the under six final between Cork City and Glasgow Celtic.
Cork City 3 Glasgow Celtic 2
A thrilling contest, which flowed from end to end and provided fantastic entertainment for the large crowd. It was a fitting finale to what had been a very enjoyable under six league. There were stars on both sides with Ciaran Couch, Rory Murphy, Brian Hartnett and Kirsten Rudio outstanding for City, while James O'Donovan, Cillian Martin, Sean Grace and Joe Cremin were superb for Celtic. James O'Donovan had put Celtic ahead early on but City stormed back with goals from Brian Hrtnett (2) and David Harrington, before James O' Donovan ensured a thrilling finish when he reduced the deficit to 3-2. However despite incessant pressure from Celtic they could not force an equaliser and City hung on for a deserved victory.
In the other three Under six finals played, Arsenal, with Dylan Ward and Darragh Williams outstanding, defeated a gallant Spurs side who had top class performers in Billy Scannell and James O'Leary. Man Utd. with Eoin Murphy playing on top form, defeated Liverpool who had fantastic performances from Eathan Hurley and Conor O'Malley. Finally Everton overcame Chelsea in a penalty shoot out, with Mark Cronin staring for Everton, while Eoin Davis, Ross Kiernan and Conor Shallee were superb for Chelsea.
Red Star Belgrade 2 Deportivo La Coruna 0.
A good start can be so important in sport and that was certainly the case in the under seven final, which saw Red Star Belgrade take on Deportivo La Coruna. Red Star were out of the blocks like a rocket scoring twice in the first five minutes through Ross Welch. Both goals were fine strikes from the edge of the area. With Sean Desmond, Cian Barry and Sean Barber outstanding, Red Star dominated the first half and were unlucky not to add to their two goal advantage. However the second half was a different story and inspired by top class performances from Brian Hill, Dean Swords , Sean Kelly and Stephen O'Sullivan Deportivo laid siege to the Red Star goal but some superb goalkeeping and defending by Simon O'Brien and David Mc Gregor made sure that it was Red Star's name which went on the Mark Dennehy Memorial Cup.
Other winners in the under sevens age group were Inter Milan, skippered by Jack Murray , who defeated the Ciara Hartnett led Valencia 4-1. Roma, captained by David O'Regan got the better of Olympiakos captained by Sefik Walsh on a 6-3 scoreline.
Real Madrid 1 AC Milan 0.
This was another tight and very enjoyable contest with two evenly matched sides going all out for victory. Both sides had their periods of domination with Sean Pouter, Dara Baldwin, Patrick Murphy, John Collins and Peter Fagon superb for Real Madrid while Shane Donnegan, Simon Loughed and Jack O'Mahony were excellent for AC Milan. In the end the final was decided by a single strike from Shane Mc Carthy who stole forward unnoticed before firing past the helpless Ac Milan keeper.
In other finals Dynamo Kiev, captained by Liam Buckley overcame Brian Barry's Spartak Moscow, while the Gary Kelleher inspired Benfica proved too strong for Fintan Wards Sporting Lisbon.
Villareal 1 Barcelona 0.
The under nine final was another high quality affair with little to choose between the two sides. In the end a solitary strike from Craig Donnellon was enough to give the cup to Villareal. .For Villareal captain Dara Twomey, Stephen Christopher, Daniel Kingston, Shane Coade and Ben McCauliffe were excellent, while Barcelona had stars in Liam Hickey, Cian Devine , Luke Harris and Shane Daly. In the play off for 3rd and 4th place Ajax, captained by Brian Burke proved too good for Juventus captained by Adrian Twomey .
Flamengo 4 Santos 2.
This contest was between two excellent footballing sides with Flamengo eventually holding on for a 4-2 victory. Flamengo's goals came from Richard Sweetman, direct from a free kick, captain Kieran Allenby , Jordan Kavanagh and Stephen Cronin. Aaron Ward and Even Healy scored for Santos. Corinthians got the better of Soa Polo in the battle for 3rd and 4th place, while Botafogo defeated Santa Cruz to take 5th place.
Penalty Competitions :
The penalty competitions also ran throughout the day and provided tremendous entertainment. The following players proved best at the various age groups.
First: Ties Van Haastrecht
Second: Ross Kiernan
Joint third: Brian Hartnett, Eathan Hurley
First: Ross Welch
Second: Mathew McCauliffe
Third: Patrick Lee
First: Sean Powter
Second: Andrew Remo
Third: Sam Collins
First: Alex Burns
Second: Jamie Philpott
Third: Cian Davis
First: Michael Murphy
Second: Charlie White
Third: Ben Goodwin
So to the presentation ceremony and what really crowned a great day for everyone was to see so many past, present and future stars who came along to give a helping hand. Cork City have always been great supporters of our finals day and we were delighted to welcome Phil Harrington, Michael Devine and former Corinthians Schoolboy Ray Lally . Also along to give a hand was Aston Villa's David Bevan, David joined Aston Villa from College Corinthians in 2004 and seventeen year old David is making great progress at Villa Park. He was only too delighted to come back up to Corinthians to help with the presentations knowing that he himself started out playing in those same Street Leagues. Also present to give a hand was Club Chairman Joe Healy, Corinthian Boys under 11 captain Brian Lenihan who had captained this years under 11 side which won the premier league title and reached the National Cup final. The previous day Brian had captained Douglas GAA under 12 squad to the county title. Besides being very talented Brian is very modest and unassuming and is a great example for all young Corinthians schoolboys and girls. Finally we were delighted to welcome Peter Connolly from the Cork Schoolboys League who came along to present the under 16 Premier League trophy to the Corinthians Boys under 16 squad.
Win loose or draw everyone who participated went home with their own individual trophy. It may take time to present over 300 individual trophies but it is well worth it when you see the Joy and the happiness it brings to every child.
On days like this there are a number of people in the background who have helped put this day together. Firstly the ladies committee under Marie Cruise O'Shea who do Trojan work throughout the year especially come finals day when they organise and run the entire day.
Thanks to all our underage and schoolboy coaches who have given there time throughout the year and many of whom came up specifically on the day to give a helping hand. Thanks also to all our schoolboy players who also gave a hand.
Finally special thanks to all our schoolboys and girls and all their families who have supported the club throughout the year, your support is much appreciated.