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Regions Cup News update   09/07/2017

Ken Hoey Retires from international football.

Ken Hoey, the legendary Rockmount full back, has called time on his International career .

Hoey is as respected within the amateur game as some of our more popular senior players and could go down as our most successful amateur of all time.

The battling full back played 13 years for his country at amateur level and along with Brendan O’Connell the Cork man has the major distinction and honour of playing in three Regions Cup finals.

Indeed, the 64 time capped defender captained Ireland to Regions Cup victory on home soil back in 2015. The former FAI Intermediate player of the year, who took over as captain from  James ‘Chalky’ Walsh, lead the team to this years decider, where they were narrowly defeated.

Hoey also played in the 2005 decider where he and Ireland suffered another final defeat to host nation Poland.

So after three Regions Cup finals, 13 years in green, four of which were spent as captain, Hoey retires with one Regions Cup winners medal in his pocket a host of memories and the respect of all those in amateur football. 

Heartbreak for Irish

(Courtesy of the FAI)

The whirlwind UEFA Regions’ Cup adventure ended for the Republic of Ireland’s representative side by collecting runners-up medals following a tough final against Zagreb in Istanbul.

Even though they unloaded more shots at goal, stretched their opponents all over the pitch, and never gave up fighting, the dream finish evaded Gerry Davis’s side which was made up of players from Connacht-Munster.

The outstanding run of seven competitive games, four wins, eight goals scored, and two goals conceded helps to mark this team out as one of the most talented and hard-working of all the amateur sides to pull on an Irish jersey.

Having won on the competition on home soil two years ago there was hope that the Irish outfit could bring the trophy home again. But it wasn’t to be as Zagreb got their revenge from 2015 by claiming victory.

A single goal from Toni Adzic on 26 minutes separated the sides at the interval and Davis’s men couldn’t find a way back despite rattling the woodwork and forcing the opposing goalkeeper to pull off four big saves.

This is the second time that an Irish side has finished as runners-up in this competition and Davis, his players and the support staff should be commended for achieving what they have.

The game was a tight affair with no major saves early on. Željko Štulec had the game’s first attempt at goal in the 11th minute for Zagreb then Nikica Brujić also failed to hit the target in the next few minutes.

Shane Daly-Butz had Ireland’s first chance in the 21st minute but failed to trouble the Croatian keeper.

The decisive moment of the game came five minutes later when Adžić turned the ball home to break the deadlock.

David Stack and Stephen Kelly came close as the half drew to a close before Soldo and Štulec both had shots in the Irish defence blocked. The same fate happened to Ćibarić two minutes before the break.

Eoin Hayes was denied an equaliser by a defensive block in first half injury-time.

Davis’s side pushed hard to equalise in the second half with David Stack denied by Zagreb keeper Nikola Durdek three minutes after the restart then the keeper kept out an effort from Kevin O’Connell in the 54th minute.

Eugene O’Donovan was off target with an effort from a Stack corner on the hour then the keeper kept out an effort from Stack three minutes later.

As the game entered the final ten minutes the Irish pushed hard to level with Daly-Butz denied by a defensive block then in injury-time the UCC attacker was so close to snatching a brilliant leveller with a long range drive that smacked the Croatian crossbar.

Five minutes into injury-time Irish defender Mark Horgan was denied a dramatic equaliser by Durdek and moments later the final whistle blew on a fantastic campaign for Davis, his staff and players.


UEFA Regions' Cup: Irish side into final after Czech win

The Republic of Ireland’s UEFA Regions’ Cup representatives Region 2 will contest the tournament final on Sunday after a brilliant 4-1 win against Olomouc in Istanbul today.

6th Jul 2017

Olomouc 1-4 Region 2

Eoin Hayes struck either side of half-time as Gerry Davis’s side got the three points they needed as Spanish representatives Castilla y León went from 2-0 up to surprisingly lose 3-2 to Russia side South Region in the other group game.

Clare’s Stephen Kelly had opened the scoring after steering the ball home following a Jimmy Carr corner but Olomouc's Petr Navrátil levelled ten minutes before the break.

Hayes then showed his finishing qualities to restore the Irish lead just four minutes later and then turned the ball home after getting in behind the Czech defence six minutes into the second half.

Carr then capped an excellent individual display with a brilliant individual goal in the 83rd minute.

This will be the third time an Irish side will appear in the final after Eastern Region captured the trophy two years ago in Dublin while Leinster & Munster were unfortunate to lose out in the final in Portugal in 2011.

Naturally Davis is thrilled with the efforts his players and staff have put in being rewarded by reaching another European final.

“After the final whistle I thanked all the players, staff and officials for the monumental effort to get here. We’ve worked so hard to cope with the conditions and every single person involved has contributed,” he said.

“The Spanish were 2-0 up so we knew we needed to score goals. We felt that realistically we’d need to score at least three to start with and we changed our approach a little and pressed them a bit higher.

“We had a goal disallowed after about 50 seconds when Kevin O’Connell had the ball in the net and we weren’t exactly sure why it was disallowed.

“The goal from Stephen Kelly came from a routine we’d worked on. The delivery was excellent from Jimmy Carr and the header was excellent. The goal we conceded was against the run of play but we took the punch and bounced back.

“David Stack did well in the second goal when he sent through Kevin O’Connell who showed good skill to create the chance for Eoin Hayes to stick it away. 

“Eoin’s second goal was a great finish from another great pass by Jimmy Carr and we then heard the news from the other game and that the Russians had turned in our favour. Jimmy finished one off himself. It was great performance overall.

“We’re just trying to get our breath back. The players are all in recovery mode. The players were in the cold pool an hour after the game.

“We’ll look at the few knocks and niggles then turn our heads to a European final on Sunday.” 

Region 2: O'Connell, Higgins, Hoey, Kelly (Griffin 85), Horgan, Carr, Stack, O'Donovan (Gannon 69), Hayes, O'Connell, Daly-Butz (Smith 63).

Eoin Hayes Castilla.jpg

UEFA Regions' Cup: Hayes secures opening victory-1st Jul 2017, R of IRE Region 2, 1-0, Russian South Region 

Eoin Hayes netted the only goal of the game as the Republic of Ireland's UEFA Regions' Cup representatives, (named Region 2 for the tournament ), overcame their Russian opponents South Region 1-0 in Istanbul.

Made up of players from Connacht Munster, the team are known officially by UEFA as Region 2 but head coach Gerry Davis  knew that Irish pride was on the line in their opening match of this year's finals tournament.

Newmarket Celtic attacker Hayes pounced on 26 minutes to break the deadlock and there was no way back from there for the opposition despite fighting right to the end to find an equaliser.

Goalkeeper Brendan O'Connell was on high alert throughout, although his confidence in the players in front of him was justified as the Irish side attempted to play on the front foot and push their opponents back inside their own half at every opportunity.

The victory puts Davis's team joint top of Group B (- Castilla y Leon won 4-1 against Olomouc in the other game -) ahead of Monday's showdown with their Spanish counterparts.

Team: B O'Connell; Hoey, Horgan, Kelly, Higgins; Carr (Daly-Butz 65), Joyce, O'Donovan, Stack; Hayes (K O'Connell 83), Hoban (Murphy 75).

UEFA Regions' Cup: Irish draw with Spanish side-3rd Jul 2017, Castilla y León 0-0 Region 2

The Republic of Ireland's UEFA Regions' Cup representatives Region 2 drew 0-0 with Spanish side Castilla y León in a tightly fought Group B encounter at Maltepe in Istanbul this afternoon.

Irish keeper Brendan O'Connell made two good saves to deny Álvaro Coque Pérez and García Puente in the second half.

The Spanish came close again late on through Carlos Alonso López and García Puente but they could not find a way past O'Connell and his defence.

Team: Brendan O'Connell, Christopher Higgins, Kenneth Hoey, Stephen Kelly, Mark Horgan, David Stack, Eugene O' Donovan, David Joyce (Brian Murphy 36), Eoin Hayes, David Hoban (James Carr 62), Shane Daly-Butz (Daniel O'Neill 52).

Both sides are now locked on four points. The Irish side meets Olomouc on Thursday with the Spanish outfit facing the Russians.


Last updated 04 July 2017, 12:10 CET

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Castilla y León

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Region 2

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