- St. Stephen's De La Salle BNS

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St. Stephen's De La Salle
Waterford, Ireland
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After an exciting season, St. Stephen's are the champions!!! We won the 2015 Jack Kennedy Memorial Cup in a thrilling final against Scoil Lorcáin at the RSC, home of Waterford United, on Tuesday, June 23rd. It was a battling performance, as Scoil Lorcáin piled on the pressure in the early stages. St. Stephen's were maybe a little nervous to be playing in such a big occasion. The Scoil Lorcáin pressure forced a corner, and they hit the crossbar from that, before turning the rebound over the bar. St. Stephen's defence could breathe again. Gradually, we worked our way into the game, but still found ourselves penned into our own half.

Some superb work in defence from a back four of Seán, Dylan, Conor and Kieran relieved the pressure as our midfield worked the ball up the field. A super ball into the box caused confusion and Noah stabbed home from very close range to give St. Stephen's a lead that might have been against the run of play up to that. The stands went wild, with all of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Classes from St. Stephen's having travelled to the RSC to support the team. We said it after the group stage. We said it again after the semi final win over Mount Sion. This team is something special. And they showed it today, as, after the goal, there was no looking back. Emmanuel worked tirelessly on the wing for his team, while on the other wing, Scott was running the show. In the middle, Alex, Reuben and Noah made sure that the ball didn't trouble Jack in the goal for the rest of the half.


The second half was a simply stunning watch, better than anything you'd find on Match of the Day, as both teams kept the ball down and played some really wonderful football. There were plenty of fantastic challenges from both sets of players too. In fact, after Emmanuel won the ball and passed it to Noah, he rode four challenges before lashing a thunderbolt into the Scoil Lorcáin net off the underside of the bar. 2-0 to St. Stephen's! Josh was leading the line for his team, and leading it in style too, as he frequently bought valuable time for his team-mates to reorganise from a Scoil Lorcáin attack. Changes were made from both sides, as Sultan and Josh made their way on for St. Stephen's, as Scoil Lorcáin began to pile on the pressure again.

A stunning free kick from our opponents made for a very nervous finale, as the boys in green tested the resolve of the boys in red and white. But again, this team is special, and there was no panic, and no hoofing, as the defence played the ball out to the wings and kept possession as the clock ran down. And that was it, as referee Mark Lucas blew for full time, sparking joyous celebrations in the stands and on the pitch, as Mr. Coghlan, Mr. Russell and the players celebrated winning the 2015 Jack Kennedy Memorial Competition undefeated in 5 games, scoring 16 and conceding just 2. Hard luck to Scoil Lorcáin, who played their part in making it a very, very close final, contested in a fantastic sporting manner. And congratulations to the victorious St. Stephen's team, bringing home a first trophy in 7 years. Well done boys!

 
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