On Thursday 27th of February the junior soccer team took to the pitch at Greystones United to take on O'Connell CBS in the quarter-final of Leinster league division two. Having already conquered division two of the Wicklow-Wexford league the confidence levels were high as St. David's entered into uncharted territory.
Both teams began the game in nervous fashion with neither group of players able to take the ball down and play much football. What was certain from the onset was that the Dublin school were extremely physical and had certainly made the trip down to pick up a victory.
Halfway through the first half O'Connell schools were awarded a free-kick inside the Greystones half. The winger put a great ball into the David's box and the ball was inadvertently tuned to the net by the unfortunate Dan Hicks who was retreating towards his own goal. This setback prompted Greystones to up their work-rate and they managed to create some decent openings in the other half of the field, firstly through Mark Hayden and then through Michael Martin. The game remained at one nil until the half-time break with David's just about shading the possession in the remainder of the first-half.
The second half began with a period of dominance for St. David's along with some very good defeneding from the Dublin school. The O'Connell CBS goalkeeper pulled off some good saves but David's will rue the quality of their finishing. A long ball out from the back resulted in O'Connell CBS winning a free-kick outside the Greystones penalty area. A very nice finish into the bottom corner, albeit against the run of play at this stage, seen David's fall two goals behind.
St. David's pushed hard for the remainder of the half and despite several shots on target they weren't able to get that illusive goal that would have made all the difference. At the other end some excellent defending from Robert Shparuta and some super saves from keeper Ben Hogan kept the tie alive as O'Connell CBS pushed for a goal that would settled the contest. The introduction of Callum Smith upped the intensity levels as David's continued to create chances but the O'Connell's goalkeeper managed to keep a clean sheet.
This was a very competitive encounter from two school who had won their respective divisional titles. Well done to the junior team on an excellent year and with so many players underage again next year the future looks bright. Best of luck to O'Connell CBS in the semi-finals.