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Kenny’s Kids: Colm Whelan sends UCD one step closer to the top-flight as Johnny Kenny continues to shine

Introducing ‘LOI Action’ with Kenny’s Kids

For the final few weeks of the League of Ireland season, there will be a new feature brought to you by Kenny’s Kids and Pundit Arena.

Anyone who follows Kenny’s Kids will know that the Twitter account focuses on Ireland internationals, Ireland underage internationals and any other promising Irishmen under the age of 24.

As the League of Ireland becomes more and more important to the future of Irish football due to Brexit implications, we feel like it is time to look closer to home.

Kenny’s Kids: Premier Division

Shamrock Rovers: 2 (Graham Burke 49′, 88′) 

Drogheda: 1 (Mark Doyle 44′)

Ireland international Graham Burke signed off on Shamrock Rovers’ title winning season with a brace against Drogheda United.

Burke has been a star man for Stephen Bradley’s team this season and will be helped by the presence of the returning Jack Byrne in 2022. All starting for Rovers was retiring former Ireland international Joey O’Brien who waved goodbye to the Hoops fans before joining Damien Duff’s Shelbourne coaching team.

Danny Mandroiu, who made Ireland’s Summer squad, also started and produced a brilliant assist, while Ireland U19 striker Aidomo Emakhu came on in the second half for Chris McCann.

Drogheda can be proud of their efforts this season too. Tim Clancy’s men finished 7th in the table and Ireland U21 internationals Killian Phillips (19, CM) and David Odumosu (20, GK) were key figures throughout.

Sligo Rovers: 1 (Johnny Kenny 16′)

Bohemians: 1 (Georgie Kelly 78′) 

Two of the league’s finest strikers were in action at the Showgrounds where Sligo Rovers drew 1-1 with Bohemians.

Ireland U19 striker Johnny Kenny scored in each of his last three international games, and he continued his great form last night by scoring a tremendous goal against Keith Long’s side.

The prolific Georgie Kelly replied for Bohs however, with a fine finish. In action alongside the Donegal striker were Ireland U21 players Tyreke Wilson (21, RB), Dawson Devoy (19, CM) and  Ross Tierney (20, CM).

The game was also Tierney’s last league outing before his impending move to Scottish side Motherwell.

Dundalk: 1 (Sean Murray 34′)

Derry City: 2 (Ciaron Harkin 45′, Jamie McGonigle 52′) 

Derry signed off an impressive season with a 2-1 victory over Vinny Perth’s Dundalk. The Candystripes are on the up and hold high hopes for next season as Dundalk’s Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney make the move up north next season.

Central to their positive season has been Ireland U21 squad member Ronan Boyce (20, RB) and he was instrumental once again in last night’s win.

One-time Ireland international Andy Boyle started for Dundalk, while Ireland U19 winger Ryan O’Kane came on in the second half.

Waterford: 0 

St Pat’s: 0 

The game at the Waterford RSC ended scoreless, meaning that Waterford will face a relegation play-off against the winners of UCD and Bray.

Ireland U21 squad member Niall O’Keefe started in defence for Waterford, while Ireland U19 defender James Abankwah started for Stephen O’Donnell’s Pat’s team. Abankwah’s Ireland U19 teammate Kian Corbally (17, CM) came on in the second half.

Finn Harps: 5 (Seymour 30′, Connolly 33′, O’Sullivan 51′, Owolabi 61′, Rudden 92′) 

Longford: 0 

Ollie Horgan’s Harps inflicted a five-goal thrashing on Longford Town last night to secure their Premier Division safety in emphatic fashion.

It’s been a difficult season for the relegated Longford who now look ahead to First Division life without manager Daire Doyle. There were no Ireland underage prospects on the Finn Harps side but Ireland U21 squad member Dean Williams (21, ST) did start for Longford.

Ireland U19 squad member Matthew O’Brien also came off the bench for Town in the second-half.

Kenny’s Kids in the LOI: First Division

Bray Wanderers: 0

UCD: 2 (Colm Whelan 68′, Paul Doyle 86′) 

Ireland U21 striker Colm Whelan scored his 21st goal of the season last night in UCD’s convincing play-off victory over Bray Wanderers.

The 21-year-old impressed for his country against Italy U21s last week and continued his fine form with a brilliant performance at the Carlisle Grounds.

The Kilkenny man scored a stunning free-kick in the 68th minute and went on to secure the win by setting up teammate Paul Doyle four minutes from time. Ireland U21 winger Liam Kerrigan also started for UCD.

Bray will be bitterly disappointed with their night’s work but there are definitely brighter days ahead of some of their younger players.

Ireland U21 internationals Brian Maher (GK, 21) and Brandon Kavanagh (CM, 21) both started, as did Ireland U19 defender Andrew Quinn. 

Talented keeper Maher is set to sign for Derry City next season according to the Irish Independent.

Make sure to follow Kenny’s Kids for extensive coverage of Ireland’s best up and coming talents. 

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