The Under 15 team boys’ soccer team gained a hard-fought win over local rivals Clonakilty Community College in the opening round of the FAI School’s Munster Minor Cup. CPB, playing at home, had a confident opening. Clever attacking play was bolstered by a well organised and hard working defence so that, despite the obvious difference between the teams in terms of size, the Bantry side took the lead through a Ryan O’ Sullivan strike and created numerous chances in the first half. Having led 1-0 at the break and playing into a stiffening wind, CPB began to be out-muscled and harried in the middle of the park.
Clonakilty increasing threat from set-pieces was evident as they levelled the score with a towering header from a corner. To their credit, the CPB players regrouped and began to match the physicality of their opponents. Midfielders Botond Rozsa and Luke Cato were commanding in the tackle and provided a platform for the forward combination of Ryan O’Sullivan and Darragh McElhinney. O’Sullivan; joined midway through the second half by younger brother Seanie; tormented the Clonakilty backline with his pace and willingness to draw fouls. The concession of these fouls would prove to be the undoing of the Clonakilty challenge. Darragh McElhinney claimed a second half hat-trick from dead ball situations, converting a direct free kick and two penalty kick to see CPB take their place in the next round with a 4-1 victory