Ireland began their Amputee Football World Cup campaign with a 3-1 defeat to host nation Mexico in front of a packed stadium in San Juan de los Lagos on Saturday night. This was the opening match of the tournament and one in which both sides would have fancied their chances but Ireland were dealt a heavy blow before a football was even kicked with influential midfielder Kevan O'Rourke ruled out of the game due to illness.
Following a decent amount of Irish possession in the opening few minutes the remainder of the half belonged to the Mexicans and they produced some lovely pieces of individual skill, as well as, some excellent link up play. With the Mexicans on top Ireland needed to defend resiliently and it took a bit off luck for Mexico to break the deadlock halfway through the half. A Mexican forward broke through the centre of the Irish defence and following a save from goalkeeper James Conroy the ball ricocheted off retreating midfielder Garry Hoey and into an empty net. 1-0 to the hosts.
The game continued in the same fashion and Stuart McEvoy and Simon Baker were working tirelessly at the back to stem the Mexican flow in front of a jubilant crowd. Ireland did produce a few nice moments in attack and an equaliser certainly wasn't out of the question but in stoppage time at the end of the half the Mexicans doubled their lead. Having successfully defended an Irish corner the Mexicans countered to expose a stretched Irish defence. The end of this counter attack saw a ball played across the field from left to right and a cracking drive into the bottom corner from the oncoming forward. 2-0 to the hosts.
Ireland came out fighting in the second half and the much experienced Christy McElligott along with James Boyle and Stuart McEvoy began to have a bit more influence on the game. 10 minutes in it was Ireland's turn to have a bit of luck. James Boyle picked up the ball in the centre of midfield and ran straight at the Mexicans showing an exceptional turn of pace. With the Mexicans in trouble at the back confusion ensued and one of them lunged desperately at Boyle only to knock the ball past the Mexican keeper and into the net. 2-1 and game on.
Unfortunately, that was as close as Ireland got as 5 minutes later the Mexicans restored their 2 goal lead. Another long range effort produced a great save from Conroy down to his right but he could do nothing about the Mexican centre forward who was well placed to finish the rebound. 3-1 to Mexico.
Although there were to be no more goals both sides still produced chances and in one of the moves of the night, youngster Neil Hoey was very unlucky to see his excellent long range shot sail narrowly over the crossbar. While defeat in the opening game was not what the Irish wanted or expected they are still very much in contention to progress to the knockout stages. The character shown in the second half wasn't the only positive from an Irish point of view. Their was an international debut for Bohemians FC player Stefan Balog as well as World Cup debuts for McEvoy, McElligott, Neil Hoey, Éanna Durham and Ruairi Murphy. Boyle showed glimpses of the power and pace he possesses and is sure to have a big say in the outcome of Group A. Ireland will rest on Sunday and will start to turn their attention to England who they play on Monday evening.
Shamrock Rovers lifted the IAFA Fyffes Cup at Oriel Park, adding to the IAFA Manorfields Cup they won mid-way through the season in Limerick, to seal a Cup double. League Champions Cork City, league runners-up Bohemian FC and Rovers contested a highly competitive and hugely entertaining tournament at the home of Dundalk FC, Oriel Park. Each team played each other twice in a round robin before Rovers met Bohs in the Cup final. Bohs bested Cork twice, Rovers secured a win and a draw with the league champions, and the two Dublin sides played out two cagey draws in the qualifying rounds. City fought valiantly throughout the day but without two key players were unable to match their Dublin rivals who were both desperately seeking silverware.
The final was yet another cagey, tactical affair. Neither side had been beaten, nor had they conceded a goal throughout the day. The two sides cancelled each other out in a first half which saw few chances on goal. Early in the second half Rovers broke the deadlock. Alan Wall delivered a corner low to the penalty spot and Kevan O'Rourke struck the ball past James Conroy. Bohs pushed forward in search of an equaliser while Rovers were content to hold onto their advantage. Rovers defended resolutely to secure victory by the narrowest of margins.
The Fyffes Cup proved to be a fitting end to what has been a fantastic inaugural season of the IAFA National League. The IAFA would like to thank Fyffes, Dundalk FC and all at Oriel Park and indeed the many supporters who turned out to enjoy what was an incredibly entertaining spectacle of amputee football.
22 September 2018 - IAFA Fyffes Cup - Oriel Park, Dundalk
Bohemian FC 1-0 Cork City (Boyle)
Shamrock Rovers 0-0 Bohemian FC
Cork City 0-2 Shamrock Rovers (O'Rourke x2)
Cork City 0-1 Bohemian FC (Balog)
Bohemian FC 0-0 Shamrock Rovers
Shamrock Rovers 0-0 Cork City
Bohemian FC 0-1 Shamrock Rovers (O'Rourke)
Special thanks to Ciaran Culligan for the fantastic photos.
Cork City clinched the inaugural IAFA National League title today at Ballymun United. City were crowned champions in dramatic fashion scoring late to win the final league game against league leaders Bohemian FC 1-2. A single point behind the leaders, City had to win while a draw would have been sufficient for Bohs. Only the narrowest of margins have separated these two sides throughout the league season and Cork picked the opportune moment to get the better of their rivals who have sat top of the table all season.
In the first two games of the day it was Shamrock Rovers who continued their resurgence beating derby rivals Bohemians 3-2 and recording a third successive win against City 3-0. While Rovers could only hope for a second place finish at best these results left City and Bohs as they were at the start of the day with just one point between them.
In what ultimately became the league final Cork took an early lead, Ruairi Murphy latching onto a Fergal Duffy pass to make it 1-0. Bohs clinched an equaliser, through the league's top goalscorer James Boyle, before the break to restore their advantage at the top of the league table. With minutes to go, however, a sideline ball struck by Kevin 'Butch' Cahillane found the back of the net following a deflection. City held on for the win despite Bohemians best efforts in what was a thrilling climax to an extremely competitive and entertaining first season of the IAFA National League.
The IAFA would like to thank National League sponsors Megazyme for their continued support and to each of the clubs, Cork City FC, Bohemian FC and Shamrock Rovers FC for embracing the sport of Amputee Football and for the vital role they have played in developing the sport at club level.
Round 5 of the Irish Amputee Football Association's National League took place on Saturday 28 July at the Cope Foundation, Montenotte, Cork. Bohemian FC, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers shared the spoils taking 4 points each from their respective fixtures in the penultimate round of the league season. It's as you were with Bohs still leading Cork by a point with Rovers trailing Cork by 4 points. All three teams will have something to play for on the final day of the season. Rovers can no longer win the title but have a chance to finish second while a final league fixture between Bohs and Cork could prove to be the ultimate decider. The final round of games will take place on 25 August.
Cork City 1-0 Bohemian FC
Hosts City started the day with a hard-fought win against title rivals Bohemians. Having taken 3 points against the Dublin side at Roadstone in the last round Cork were aiming to make their home advantage pay. It was not until late in a tightly contested affair that the Leesiders took the lead. Kevin 'Butch' Cahillane struck home from a freekick to push his side a point ahead of Bohs in the league table.
Shamrock Rovers 0-3 Bohemian FC
Bohs responded well to their earlier defeat opening up a two-goal lead on Dublin rivals Rovers within the first 10 minutes of the second fixture. Two goal-keeping errors allowed Bohs to take a comfortable lead into the half-time break. Rovers had, however, come close to narrowing the deficit, Alan Wall striking the outside of the post from a freekick. The league's top-scorer, James Boyle, added a third in the opening minutes of the second half leaving Rovers with too much to do. Bohs regained top spot but Cork had still to play Rovers.
Cork City 1-3 Shamrock Rovers
With one win under their belts City knew a second of the day would have put them top of the table going into the final round of fixtures. Rovers rallied, however, and secured a successive 3-1 win against Cork. Stuart McEvoy opened the scoring meeting an Alan Wall corner with a diving header at the front post. Cork equalised from the penalty spot through set piece specialist Cahillane. A second half penalty, converted by Alan Wall, saw Rovers take the lead for the second time before Kevan O'Rourke put the result beyond doubt in the dying moments of the game.
Shamrock Rovers played host to Round 4 of the IAFA National League on Saturday 30 June. In testing conditions the home side, rock bottom of the league, produced two fine displays to claw their way back into contention with two rounds of fixtures left to play in the season. League leaders Bohemian FC were without the leagues top scorer James Boyle and midfielder Neil Hoey and suffered as a result. Both Rovers and Cork took full advantage and claimed all three points from their respective fixtures against Bohs. High in confidence and buoyed by their recent Cup success in Limerick, Rovers then beat Cork in the final game of the day. Although the Leesiders took an early lead through Ruairi Murphy, Christy McElligott and Stuart McEvoy combined to earn an almost immediate equalizer. Rovers captain Kevan O'Rourke then put the home side in front before a brace from Alan Wall put the result beyond doubt. City's 4 points on the day see them narrow the gap on leaders Bohs to just a single point. Rovers remain stuck to the bottom of the table but their resurgence has seen them claw back points on both their rivals. With six games remaining it is all still to play for as the season draws to a close. The teams will meet next in Cork on 28 July for the penultimate round of fixtures.
Shamrock Rovers 6-0 Bohemian FC (Wall x2, O'Rourke x3, McEvoy)
Cork City 1-0 Bohemian FC (Cahillane)
Shamrock Rovers 4-1 Cork City (Wall x2, O'Rourke, McEvoy)
Bohemian FC took and early lead in the IAFA National League picking up 5 points at Roadstone on March 10th. A 1-1 draw with Cork City followed by a emphatic 5-0 win against local rivals Shamrock Rovers sees Bohs top the league after the first round of fixtures.
Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Cork City (Wall, Murphy)
In the opening game of the season Cork took an early lead against hosts Rovers. Ruairi Murphy took advantage of a defensive mistake and poked past Patrick Hutton to give Cork a 1-0 lead at the break. Rovers struck back in the second half through Alan Wall who weaved his way through the Cork defense to level things up.
Cork City 1-1 Bohemian FC (Cahillane, G. Hoey)
In the second game City met Bohemians and again took the lead. Kevin 'Butch' Cahillane struck a long range free-kick past Bohs keeper James Conroy. Cork could have been 2 up but Murphy's effort came back off the upright. The Dublin side equalized in the second half as Garry Hoey's strike deflected past the Cork keeper.
Shamrock Rovers 0-5 Bohemian FC (Boyle x5)
The final fixture on the day saw the league's two Dublin sides meet. Rovers controlled the early part of the game but failed to convert their first half chances. The game then turned when James Boyle dinked past Hutton on the counter attack. Boyle made it 2 before half-time capitalizing on poor Rovers defending. Ireland's leading goalscorer was on top form and netted a further three times in the second half.
More than 20 amputees were involved on the day as the IAFA National League kicked off in earnest. The next round of fixtures will take place in Cork on April 7th. The fist fixture will kick off at 2pm. All support is again welcome and any amputee interested in the game should check it out. Full fixture details will follow in the coming week.
Check out some goal-mouth footage taken by Bohs and Ireland goalkeeper James Conroy below for an alternative look at the opening day of our National League.
The Irish Amputee Football Association's National League kicks off in Kingswood at the home of Shamrock Rovers' Academy on Saturday 10th March. Hosts Shamrock Rovers FC will entertained Cork City FC and Bohemian FC in the first round of the 2018 league season. All three sides have been training hard since the pre-season tournament in Midleton in anticipation of these fixtures and a number of new players are poised to debut for their new clubs. Hosts Rovers kick off the league season against Cork. Cork then meet Bohs while the first round ends with the first amputee Dublin Derby. With points up for grabs, the competition will be fierce in what promises to be an exhilarating spectacle. Please see details of fixtures below. The games kick off at 1pm and all support is welcomed. If you are an amputee interested in playing amputee football please come and see the clubs in action this weekend.
13.00 Shamrock Rovers FC vs. Cork City FC
13.40 Bohemian FC vs. Cork City FC
14.20 Shamrock Rovers FC vs. Bohemian FC
The creation of a national league was at the heart of the Irish Amputee Football Association's mission when it was established in 2011. The association was founded to provide any person with an amputation, congenital deficiency, or other limb affecting disorder with the opportunity to access Amputee Football at grassroots, club and national level. At Midleton FC, Cork, on the 20th of January 2018 the IAFA officially launched the Irish Amputee National League. The 2018 season kicked-off with a Cup competition contested by hosts, Cork City Football Club, Bohemian Football Club and Shamrock Rovers Football Club. Over 20 amputees competed in the tournament that was won by Dublin side Bohemian FC. The league proper will begin in March and the upcoming fixtures will soon be announced. This was hugely significant milestone for the IAFA who have been flying the Irish flag internationally, competing in Europe and the wider world since 2012. The creation of a domestic league is the association's next step in developing the game of amputee football in Ireland.
Results: Saturday 20th January 2018, Midleton FC
Cork City 0-2 Bohemians (Boyle, Hoey)
Bohemians 2-0 Shamrock Rovers (Boyle x2)
Cork City 0-3 Shamrock Rovers (McElligott, Balog, O'Rourke)
Bohemian FC win tournament
Tuesday 3rd October
EAFC Group C: Russia 2-0 Ireland
Ireland lost 2-0 to World Champions Russia in their opening game of the European Amputee Football Championships. Russia went into the game as firm favourites with many expecting them to score freely against lower ranked Ireland. Our Irish Amputees had other ideas, however, and were unlucky not to capitalise on one of a number of chances the created in the first half.
In the most entertaining game of the championships thus far the first half was full of chances for both sides. Ireland defended deep and tried to break the Russians on the counter attack. Irish captain, James Boyle, was in superb form terrorizing the Russia, defence running at them with pace and power. At the other end, James Conroy pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep the Russians at bay.
Russian upped the intensity at the start of the second half realising they were up against a really well organised side. Goals at either end of the half from the Russia number 9 proved decisive. Although Ireland again created chances in the second 25 they failed to make the Russians pay.
Ireland face England in their second group game on Wednesday and will take confidence from their valiant performance against Russia. Russia play Greece in the other game in group B.
Thursday 5th October
EAFC Group C: Ireland 4-0 Greece
Ireland recorded a convincing 4-0 victory over Greece in their last group game of the European Championships to advance to the knock-out stages of the competition. Ireland started well and were in front within minutes of kick-off. James Boyle latched onto a Simon Baker clearance and finished powerfully across the body of the Greek goalkeeper. Christy McElligott added a second striking low past the keeper from outside the area. McElligott then turned provider, back-heeling into the path of Kevan O'Rourke who struck low to the bottom corner. Ireland continued to control the game in the second half and scored their fourth late in the game. McElligott nodded Garry Hoey's corner in at the back post to wrap up a solid Irish display.