02 April 2014
Sean Scally was in top form as he followed up with a brilliant hat trick after an earlier Rhys Gorman equaliser had put the Colleges FAI back into the game to give them another comprehensive victory over the Welsh Universities at the FA of Wales Centre of Excellence, Dragon Park, Newport South Wales.
These sides had met twice already over the past couple of years as the Colleges FAI attempted to broaden their programme of representative fixtures. So far the Irish boys have come out on top with two wins in both of those previous meetings, but after going behind to an early Clayton Greer goal at Newport Danny Crowley's side realised that they had a stiff task ahead of them if they were to preserve their unbeaten record.
For a period after going in front the Welsh dominated the game and winger Guillermo Bauza might have added to the score but he somehow failed to get a proper strike on goal from a clever Chris Davis cut back. The Colleges dug deep and with Brian Nolan, Paul Malone and newcomer Gorman eventually getting a grip in midfield. The impressive Gorman responded with a fine goal on the half hour following a Kevin O'Connor corner to get them back into the game.
From then on the Colleges displayed all the qualities that has seen them go through this season unbeaten in representative fixtures with successive wins over both the Scottish and Irish Universities and also the Irish Defence Forces. Skelly put them right back on track with two fine goals coming up to the break to give them a comfortable 3-1 interval lead. The IT Carlow striker shot the first on 38 minutes with a well-placed 20 yard free that beat the Welsh wall and gave goalkeeper Mike Lewis little chance of getting a hand to it.
Minutes later Skelly was on target again as he cut in from the left to brilliantly curl the ball into the top corner of the net. The Welsh did look like getting back into the game for a short period after the break but their chance of a comeback faded when defender Josh Standnicki took down Skelly in the box midway through the half the Colleges striker quickly got up to convert the penalty and complete his hat trick.
A delighted Crowley, who has successfully managed the Colleges FAI side for the past four seasons, was quick to pay tribute to the squad of players, his coach Paul O'Reilly and the backroom team for their huge commitment and effort over the past the season. 'It's really tough for this group combining study with football both for their colleges and their clubs but they have been brilliant in all the games' pointed out Crowley.
WELSH UNIVERSITIES: Mike Lewis (Univ of South Wales); Ryan Green (Univ of South Wales), George Parsons (Swansea Univ), Josh Standnicki (Bangor Univ), Lewis Hydes (Univ of South Wales); Chris Davis (Bangor Univ), Kieran Lewis (Univ of South Wales), Clayton Greer (Univ of South Wales), Guillermo Bauza (Swansea Univ); Alex O'Leary (Univ of South Wales), Jack McKenna (Swansea Univ).
Subs: Ulrich Fischer (Univ of South Wales) for Parsons 65 mins, Krzystztof Nalborski (Aberystwyth Univ) for O'Leary 65 mins, Tom Wood (Bangor Univ) for McKenna 75 mins, Arron Lemon (Aberystwyth Univ) for Hydes 75 mins.
Sub not used: Philip Draper (Aberystwyth Univ).
COLLEGES FAI: Seamus Houghton (IT Carlow); Manuel Kaguako (Drogheda Institute), Stephen Last (IT Carlow), Jonathan Savage (IT Carlow), Kevin O'Connor (Waterford IT); Brian Nolan (Waterford IT), Paul Malone (DIT); Eric Molloy (IT Carlow), Rhys Gorman (DIT), Sean Skelly (IT Carlow); Dean Broaders (IT Carlow).
Subs: Jason Lyons (Athlone IT) for Broaders 70 mins, Dean Gibbons (Waterford IT) for Gorman 70 mins, Anthony O'Donnell (Colaiste Stiofain Naofa, Cork) for Skelly 75 mins, Robert Birdsall (Cork College of Commerce) for Houghton 75 mins, Reece McEnteer (Dundalk IT) for Malone 80 mins.
Subs not used: Conor O'Keeffe (IT Carlow.
REFEREE: Kris Hames (South Wales FA).