St Vincents Water Polo Club
Dublin, Ireland

Irish Under 17 Cups 2019 - St Vincents are Winners of both Girls and Boys Cups!!

2019 Irish U17 Cup Champions
2019 Irish U17 Cup Champions
Cliona Colvin - 2019 Irish U17 Cup Tournament MVP
Adam Child - 2019 Irish U17 Cup Tournament MVP

The 2019 Irish U17 Cup Tournament took place at the Leisureplex in Lisburn over the weekend of January 25-27th 2019.

St Vincents entered the weekend with coaches Louise Hennessy (Girls), Juan Iglesias (Boys) and George Dunne (Boys Assistant Coach) quietly confident that their players were well prepared and in good form to mount a serious challenge for medals. Both teams remain unbeaten halfway through their respective 2018/19 National Leagues for this age category (the 2018/19 U16 Leagues and 2019 U17 Cups are both open to players born in 2002 and later). Many of our players gained vital tournament experience during the 2018 National U17 Cups at the same venue in January 2018 where our Girls were crowned Champions and our boys collected Silver medals after losing a thrilling final by the narrowest possible margin after a penalty shootout. 

Girls Tournament

Drawn in Group B, our girls produced two solid performances on Saturday against a young Bangor team (4-11: 0-3, 1-3, 1-3, 2-2) and an emerging and well-coached North Dublin team (12-4: 3-0, 3-2, 4-2, 2-0) to top the group and set up a Sunday morning semi-final against old rivals Tribes from Galway in a repeat of last year's final. 

The semi-final got off to a slow start and our early shooting was uncharacteristically poor but some good defending kept things scoreless at the end of the first quarter. In Q2, Tribes took an early lead but a goal from team captain Cliona Colvin and two from Keri Noonan calmed the nerves and gave us a 3-1 lead as the teams changed ends for halftime. During an exciting third quarter the team faced a wave of pressure from Tribes and had a total of five players excluded but good defence and some great saves from Jennifer Dunne limited Tribes to just a single goal from those 5 "man-up" situations. Cliona added a brace to leave the score 5-2 at the end of Q3. In a well-controlled final quarter, we added two goals through Keri and Katie Hynes and young Áine Hennessy was unlucky to see a late penalty come back off the post. Final Score 7-2 (0-0, 3-1, 2-1, 2-0).

In the final, we faced Coach Ruth McGuigan and her Diamonds team from Belfast who also had an unbeaten run to the final with Group victories over Tribes (2-1) and Cathal Brugha (11-6) followed by a semifinal win over North Dublin (6-3). The final was expected to be a highly competitive and closely fought affair between these two well-matched teams and it didn't disappoint. Many of the players know each other well from past national league, national cup and inter-provincial encounters as well as from training and competing together on Irish National Teams. 

Coach Louise set her team up with a game-plan based on strong team and individual defence with the aim of controlling the game and limiting the goal scoring opportunities for Diamonds key players while also creating opportunities for our players to score.   

Keri got St Vincents off to a great start with two unanswered goals in the first three minutes but strong defence from two well-drilled teams meant that we then had over nine nail-biting minutes where neither team could score before Cliona made the breakthrough to make it 0-3. Maebh McGurk replied for Diamonds to leave the score at 1-3 as the teams changed ends at halftime. Cliona scored at the start of Q3 but Diamonds replied with two goals of their own to leave St Vincents ahead by the smallest of margins at the end of the third quarter at 3-4. The tension was incredible as the teams went end-to-end for over five minutes with strong defence and great goalkeeping preventing any goals before Cliona Colvin finally ensured a St Vincents victory with a goal with 1:49 remaining. Final Score 3-5 (0-2, 1-1, 2-1, 0-1)

With some great defensive play and an amazing four hat-tricks in four games, Cliona Colvin was a deserved recipient of the award for the Tournament's Most Valuable Player. 

St Vincents Results and Scorers (Girls)

    Group B Semi Final Total
    Bangor (4-11) Nth Dublin (12-4) Tribes (7-2) Diamonds (3-5)  
1 Jennifer Dunne          
2 Rebecca McMullan   1     1
3 Una Stephens   1     1
4 Erin Kindlon          
5 Cliona Colvin (MVP) 3 4 3 3 13
6 Caoimhe Hennessy          
7 Aimee Woolley          
8 Katie Hynes 2 3 1   6
9 Keri Noonan 4 1 3 2 10
10 Dervla Gargan   1     1
11 Aoife Boyle   1     1
12 Áine Hennessy 2       2
13 Sophie Mahon          
  Total 11 12 7 5 35

Boys Tournament
Throughout the tournament, Coach Juan (assisted by Coach George for the semi-final and final) managed the games and squad fatigue levels very well by establishing an early lead and then fully utilising the depth of the squad by giving extended game time to each member of the squad.

The Boys kicked off proceedings in Group B on Friday evening with an 11-5 (4-1, 2-2, 1-2, 4-0) victory over Clontarf, followed by Saturday wins over Cú Chulainn (4-15: 1-4, 0-5, 1-2, 2-4) and Clonard (9-5: 5-0, 1-2, 0-3, 3-0). 

This set up a Sunday morning semi-final against eventual Bronze Medallists North Dublin in which we took early control with first quarter goals from Marius Sandu and Dylan Egan. In Q2, Ben Kavanagh and Denis Miculescu each netted to leave the halftime score 4-1. In the third quarter Alex San Emeterio added 2 and Denis added 1 to leave the team 7-1 up going into the last quarter and virtually guaranteed a place in the final. Alex and Denis (2) added Q4 goals to leave the final score 10-5, setting up a final against Corrib who had beaten Clonard 9-8 in the first semi-final. 

Going into the final, Corrib had the benefit of an extra hour of recovery time but a big unknown was how depleted Corrib's reserves of energy might be after a thrilling come-back from a four goal halftime deficit against Clonard.

The final started with Corrib taking the lead through sharpshooter Luka Sunjic before Denis and Sam replied for St Vincents. Adam Child in goal was unlucky not to save a penalty before Marius scored to leave us ahead by 2-3 at the end of Q1. Goals from Denis and Sam and a lone Corrib reply left the halftime score at 3-5. This doesn't really tell the story of how well the lads defended in that first half under serious pressure from Corrib. The Major Fouls count of five against St Vincents versus two against Corrib gives a better picture of the overall performance and team captain Sam O'Dwyer was in danger of an early exit after picking up his second Personal Foul halfway through Q2. Fortunately experienced Coaches Juan and George recognised the situation and made the necessary tactical adjustments to help keep Sam in the game. The 3rd quarter was another tight one with only Dylan scoring in the first 5 minutes before a late flurry of goals saw Marius and Dylan add two for St Vincents and Corrib add one late goal of their own. In Q4, an early goal from Denis and a penalty converted by Alex effectively ended the game as a contest. Corrib added a single goal while St Vincents finished with a run of five unanswered goals (Alex, Denis, Matthew McDermott and two from Marius) before Captain Sam rounded off an excellent personal performance with his hat-trick. 

As shown in the table below, the St Vincents goal-scoring was shared across many players. What the scores and scorer statistics don't reveal is the level of individual and team performance in defence. The players defended very well and generally maintained their shape and defensive discipline and this foundation was brilliantly supported by goalkeeper Adam Child. Time after time Adam pulled off fantastic saves both from long-range power shots and also one-on-one on those rare occasions where an opposition forward managed to elude an excellent defence ably led by team captain Sam O'Dwyer. Adam's performance earned him a deserved selection as the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

St Vincents Results and Scorers (Boys)

    Group B Semi Final Total 
    Clontarf (11-5) Cú Chulainn (4-15) Clonard (9-5) Nth Dublin (10-5) Corrib (16-5)
1 Adam Child (MVP)            
2 Matthew McDermott   1     1 2
3 Ben Kavanagh   1   1   2
4 Adam Kavanagh            
5 Denis Miculescu 3 1 5 4 4 17
6 Marius Sandu 2 2 2 1 4 11
7 Dylan Egan 1 4 3 1 2 11
8 Senan Noonan            
9 Alex San Emeterio 3 1 1 3 2 10
10 Ciaran Dunne 1 1       2
11 Sam O'Dwyer 1 4     3 8
12 Dara Vince            
13 Ben Woolley            
  Total  11 15 11 10 16 63

Congratulations to all of our Players and Many Thanks to our Coaches, Team Managers, Parents and Supporters!

Full Tournament Details 

Medal Winners

Gold: St Vincents (Boys and Girls)

Silver: Diamonds (Girls) and Corrib (Boys)

Bronze: Tribes (Girls) and North Dublin (Boys)

Tournament Guide

Tournament Director Decky McKerr published the Tournament Guide and this is available to download here.

Draw & Groups

This year we had 8 teams entered into the Boys and 6 teams in the Girls competitions. These were drawn into groups at an NWPC Meeting in early January as follows: 

Girls AGirls BBoys ABoys B
TribesBangorCathal BrughaCú Chulainn
DiamondsNorth DublinDroghedaClonard
Cathal BrughaSt VincentsCorribSt Vincents
North DublinClontarf

Playing Times

All matches were 4 x 6 mins in the group stages and 4 x 7 mins in the semi final and final stages. One Timeout per team was permitted throughout the group stages and two timeouts in the semi finals and finals stages.

Match Schedule & Results

The schedule of matches and the results were:

Friday 25th Jan
11715Boys ACathal Brugha15-2Drogheda
21800Boys BCú Chulainn2-9Clonard
31845Boys ACorrib7-5North Dublin
41930Boys BSt Vincents11-5Clontarf
Saturday 26 Jan
GameTime White  Blue
50815Girls ATribes1-2Diamonds
60900Girls BBangor 6-7North Dublin
70945Boys ACathal Brugha3-27Corrib
81030Boys BCú Chulainn4-15St Vincents
91115Girls ACathal Brugha2-3Tribes
101200Girls BBangor 4-11St Vincents
111245Boys ADrogheda 1-13North Dublin
121330Boys BClonard9-8Clontarf
131415Girls A Cathal Brugha6-11Diamonds
141500Girls BSt Vincents 12-4North Dublin
151545Boys ACathal Brugha1-11North Dublin
161630Boys BCú Chulainn6-12Clontarf
171715Boys ACorrib19-3Drogheda
181800Boys BSt Vincents 9-5Clonard
Sunday 27 Jan
GameTime White  Blue
190830Girls S/F 1Diamonds6-3North Dublin
200930Girls S/F 2St Vincents7-2 Tribes
211030Boys S/F 1Corrib 9-8Clonard
221130Boys S/F 2St Vincents 10-5North Dublin
231230Girls 5th/6th P/oCathal Brugha 16-7Bangor
241330Girls BronzeNorth Dublin4-5 Tribes
251430Boys BronzeClonard 6-7North Dublin
261545Girls FinalDiamonds 3-5St Vincents
   Girls Medal Presentation  
271700Boys FinalCorrib 5-16St Vincents
   Boys Medal Presentation  

The Group Tables finished as follows:

Girls Group A
Cathal Brugha2002814-60
Girls Group B
St Vincents2200238156
North Dublin21011118-73
Boys Group A
North Dublin3201299206
Cathal Brugha 31021940-213
Boys Group B
St Vincents 33003514219
Cú Chulainn30031236-240