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# 25.06.2015 - 05:15:47
No words could do justice to the week that was the Kennedy Cup 2003. Six months of intense preparation and utter professionalism by the Kerry Schoolboys League and the management team culminated with Kerry's sensational series of performances, which saw the county's under 13 side reach the pinnacle of schoolboy soccer in Ireland, as they knocked out the North Dublin Schoolboys League in the quarter final, and followed up with the spellbinding defeat of the tournament favourites, the Dublin District Schoolboys League (aka DDSL).
Put this in context, the DDSL had not been defeated in open play since 1997, and have contested five of the last six finals, winning all five. Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Stephen Carr, Kenny Cunningham and Ian Harte).
Kerry just failed in their attempt to lift the magnificent Kennedy Cup, beaten 2 0 Tarell Brown Raiders Jersey in the final by Waterford Schoolboys League. A full report follows.
KENNEDY CUP GROUP STAGES: Kerry were drawn in a group of four teams, with West Cork, Kilkenny and the North Eastern Counties making up the sides.
Only the winning team would advance to the Kennedy Cup quarter finals, with the other minor placings going on to play in the Kennedy Bowl, Plate and Shields.
GAME 1: Kerry SL 0, West Cork SL 0.
Kerry put themselves under a little pressure as they failed to gain all three points in their opening match.
GAME 2: Kerry SL 3, North Eastern Counties 1
Kerry had a clear cut mission in Authentic Carlos Rogers Jersey this Authentic James Jones Jersey match, collect all three points or face elimination from the Cup competition, as Kilkenny had beaten the NEC 1 0 on the Monday evening.
That they certainly did with Stephen McCarthy, Brendan Moloney and Kevin O'Sullivan all on the mark.
GAME 3: Kerry SL 3, Kilkenny SL 1.
Kerry went into this game with trepidation as West Cork also on four points, it meant that Tarell Brown Jersey goal difference could decide the winners.
Kerry brought the game to Kilkenny and emerged victorious with the goals coming from Jamie Doolan (two) and substitute Pdraig O'Connor.
With West Cork managing a 1 1 draw, it meant that Kerry were table toppers, on seven points, two clear of the West Cork rivals. It also meant that Kerry had achieved their first objective, and the Kerry supporters gave them joyous approval.
Kerry were now pitted against a very impressive North Dublin Schoolboys League (Brenfer) in the quarter final after they had eliminated a fancied Limerick District Schoolboys League side.
Cork after a scare against Desmond had managed to come Carlos Rogers Raiders Jersey through against Wicklow, while DDSL were up against the South Dublin SL, and dark horses Waterford were playing Sligo/Leitrim.
QUARTER FINAL: Kerry 2, North Dublin SL 0
With the competition now at the knock out stages, Kerry's margin for error was nil and the youngsters didn't disappoint their management team with Jamie Doolan and Mark O'Sullivan getting the vital strikes in a fine 2 0 victory.
Meanwhile, DDSL had managed to eke out a penalties win against a plucky South Dublin, and the Kerry management team now faced the tournament favourites from Dublin in the semi final.
Cork and Waterford emerged from the other side Authentic Tarell Brown Jersey and now Kerry were in with the big boys, as 29 teams were now down to 4, for the hugely coveted Kennedy Cup, the incubation 'dormitory' for many of Ireland's greatest players, with Roy Keane captaining the winning Cork side in the 1980s.
(1) the DDSL have an arrangement with Arsenal FC where their Kennedy Cup squad is taken over for a full Carlos Rogers Jersey week's coaching every Easter.
(2) the DDSL squad took part in a tournament, in England, against professional clubs before this year's Kennedy Cup.
(3) Twelve of James Jones Raiders Jersey the DDSL squad have already had preliminary trials with cross channel clubs.
(4) The DDSL are sponsored by Nike, in terms of gear, sponsorship and associated costs.
(5) As stated previously they make up the bulk of all Under age International squads.
(6) The DDSL James Jones Jersey is the biggest Schoolboys League in Europe.
(7) The DDSL have approximately 1400 boys playing at the Under 13 level, and these would all be natural Under 13's with no Under 12's. Kerry have less than 100 boys at this agegroup.
(8) The DDSL won four of the six National Cups this year, and last year had a complete rout of all six. Indeed this year's Under 13 National Cup final featured two DDSL teams, Home Farm and Cherry Orchard.
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