By Aron Hegarty
Esker Celtic’s U15 Premier 2 team made the semi-finals of the Mark Egan Memorial Cup hosted by Lourdes Celtic FC recently. The Lucan outfit, coached by Noel Wynne and Alan Hayles, competed along with seven other Dublin clubs over two days at Sundrive Park. Two wins on Saturday were followed by a draw and a loss before bowing out to local rivals, and eventual winners, Collinstown FC in the last four. A brace from Josh Bennett helped Esker win their first match against Peamount United 2-1, while a hat-trick from Fionn Fahy and a goal from Ryan Fagan ensured a 4-1 victory over Swords Manor FC in their second.
On Sunday, an Alex Keegan strike earned a battling 1-1 draw with St Mary’s Boys FC and Bennett grabbed his second goal of the competition in a 1-2 loss to hosts Lourdes. That result meant Esker finished second in their group and would be pitted against Collinstown, who topped the other group, in the Cup semi-finals. A slick Collinstown side raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 10 minutes before Conor Hayles, son of coach Alan, capitalised on a goalkeeping error after the restart to give Esker hope. Despite an improved second half and late pressure, Esker were unable to fashion an equaliser as they exited the tournament, while Collinstown went on to defeat Lourdes, whose B team won the Shield, 3-1 in the Cup final. Well done to all teams who took part, thank you to Lourdes Celtic FC and the Egan family for hosting the tournament in memory of Mark.
The eight teams taking part in the tournament were Esker Celtic FC, Collinstown FC, Lourdes Celtic FC (A and B teams entered), St Mary’s Boys FC, Crumlin United FC, Peamount United, Kilnamanagh AFC and Swords Manor FC.