Ballingarry AFC vs St Francis FC (Dublin)
Ballingarry youths will create another historic day for the club and for the LDFL when they line out
Saturday to face DDSL kingpins St Francis FC in the QTR final of the FAI youths cup and in doing so
will be Ballingarry’s first ever youths team to reach the quarter final stage of the nation completion.
Ballingarry’s prominence in youth football in the past 5 season has been very impressive indeed, the
highlight of course being the Munster youths cup final of 2020 which they lost on penalties. Having
been blessed with a crop such pedigree players each season it’s not surprising that they would be
capable of challenging for silverware in all competitions. But as players move out of the age group
each season what may be surprising is the consistency of the youths teams. The one constant of
course is the manager Dean Clancy who has been at the helm for that entire period. Dean’s
contribution to youth football within the club has been crucial, complemented by the expert
couching for the last 2 years by Mike Boyle and Shane Markham.
Locally Balingarry are top of the league knowing one more win will secure the title, have already
booked themselves into the league cup final and are in the semi final of the Desmond cup. Having
bowed out of the Munster Youth in the last 16 two weeks ago on a day when whatever could go
wrong did go wrong, the FAI is the only trophy outside domestic competitions that is still on offer.
Ballingarry have scored 56 goals in their 16 games this season averaging over 3 goals a game and will
rely again on strikers Paudie Murphy and Eoin Lynch to continue their fine goal scoring form. It has
been an eventful journey to the QTR final playing Limerick giants Fairview in the first round having to
go to extra time to win 2:1. Kildimo from the Desmond league were next and a comfortable 4:2
victory at home set up a home tie against St Mary’s of Cork which was won 2:1 in Mick Hanley Park,
Free scoring St Francis are riding high too, top of the DDSL and look favourites to become
Saturday represents possibly the toughest task the management will have encountered to date. But
there is a confidence and desire about this squad that suggests that the task is not unsurmountable.
I’m sure the lessons are learnt from the recent disappointment of their Munster youth cup exit, and
no doubt the manager will have the homework done
Big day ahead team and management would really appreciate local and wider LDFL support.