Bray Wanderers/SJB Academy 0:5 Shamrock Rovers.
Given the sweltering heat today it can hardly have come as a surprise that there was a fire on the foot of the Dublin mountains this afternoon. It began shortly after 2pm and despite the efforts of the fire crews from Bray Wanderers/SJB Academy it wasn’t until around 3.45pm that the fire finally died down. By then the damage had been done and the instigator of this fire – Hoops’ midfielder Brandon Kavanagh – was preparing to leave the ground with a smile on his face. And so he should, it was Kavanagh who was on fire throughout. Without a doubt one of the finest individual performances ever by an SRFC Under 19 player witnessed by this correspondent.
The game was only two minutes old when Kavanagh played Dean Williams in for a chance that came back off the crossbar and was then finished in the back of the net by Dean Dillon. On 15 minutes the Hoops went further ahead when Conor Gleeson made a good clearance at the back which Kavanagh neatly latched onto. The tricky midfielder then cleverly picked out Williams inside the Bray half and the forward got his timing perfect to stay onside as he raced forward and struck a great finish to make it 2-0. Dean Dillon felt he should have been awarded a penalty later on but didn’t get it. He did win a free on the edge of the box shortly after that but the penalty claim looked more legitimate than the free.
On 34 minutes the Hoops inflicted further damage on their hosts when ‘keeper Adam Kenny threw the ball out to Kavanagh who this time picked out Eric Abulu and the left-sided wing back carried it on before releasing Dillon who took it on further before netting his second to make it 3-0.
It wasn’t a one-sided game though and Bray, despite the three-goal disadvantage, were constantly striving to create something. However, they found Cian Collins, Sean Callan and Gleeson at the back a formidable force to have to deal with. Williams got his second and Rovers fourth in the 62th minute. A Collins thrown on the right found Kavanagh who tore down the field evading several tackles and then finding Williams on the left. The striker composed himself well before shooting to make it 4-0. Goal number five came in the 74th minute when Williams sealed his hat-trick following some super lead in play by Evan Smithers and Emmanuel Lawal.
This was the perfect response from a Hoops side that were unexpectedly beaten 4-2 by Cabinteely at Roadstone last week.
Rovers: 1. Adam Kenny, 16. Cian Collins, 18. Sean Callan, 5. Conor Gleeson, 11. Kenny Cunningham, 6. Evan White, 14. Evan Smithers, 3. Eric Abulu, 7. Brandon Kavanagh, 19. Dean Williams, 9. Dean Dillon.
Subs: 25. Shane O’Rourke, 10. Richie English (for Dillon 70 mins), 8. Harry Cornally (for White 78 mins), 2. Darren Prendergast (for Collins 70 mins), 4. Adam O’Connor (for Abulu 78 mins), 17. Emmanual Lawal (for Cunningham h.t.), 20. Clayton Walsh.
Report and photos by Robert Goggins.