Waterford FC Under-17s were crowned SSE Airtricity Under 17 Southern Elite Division champions before kicking a ball over the weekend, but that didn’t stop them defeating Wexford FC 4-1 on Saturday afternoon last.
The league was sealed after second-placed Shamrock Rovers suffered defeat to Galway United the previous night.
It took just three minutes for the opening goal of the tie and it was a slice of luck for the hosts as Colm Whelan sent over a corner kick from the left that saw Wexford’s Caellum Travers Devlin power a header past his own goalkeeper Colum Feeney.
Jack Larkin went close to doubling the lead on 12 minutes when he fired in a shot from the right side of the area but keeper Feeney got down well to save before Regix Madika blazed over the crossbar from a decent position three minutes later.
Wexford got back on level terms on 29 minutes when Adham Masood picked up possession of the ball on the right-side of the penalty area before drilling a low shot to the left corner past a helpless Heffernan but the Blues were back in front sixty seconds later.
Darragh Power got free down the right channel before whipping in a dangerous cross to the front post where Travers Devlin sliced the ball to the back of his own net as he tried to clear the danger. Liam Berry forced Blues keeper Ben Kirwan into a fine save with the first chance of the second half on 56 minutes.
Kirwan showed his class soon afterwards when he kept out a stinging effort from Adham Masood before a scramble in the area also saw the Blues netminder Oscar Smith. Jack Larkin saw his effort saved at the other end on 70 minutes before Oisin Knox scored a third goal ten minutes from time with a neat finish.
Colm Whelan continued his remarkable run in front of goal when he netted for the 14th straight game on 84 minutes when he took possession of the ball on the left-side of the penalty area before showing great composure to slot to an empty net. A brilliant achievement for the striker as the Blues look forward to Saturday’s cup final.
Waterford FC: Charlie Heffernan, Kallum Broaders, Lee Costello, Greg Waters, Regix Madika, Dean Beresford, Jack Larkin, Jack O’Donnell, Ciaran Brennan, Colm Whelan, Darragh Power, Mike Nzongong, Niall O’Keeffe, Sean Tracey, Oisin Knox, Samuel Dwyer, Torik Adegoke, Ben Kirwan
Wexford FC: Colum Feeney, Jack Gallagher, Conor Signorelli, Brandon Deady, Cian Foley, Reece Murphy, Patrick Barron, Adham Masood, Liam Berry, Caellum Travers Devlin, Oscar Smith, Craig O’Reilly, Jason Daly, Ciaran Paige, James Esser
Referee: Pat O’Connor assisted by Noel Ryan and Ian O’Keeffe