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 Midleton's Liam McGrath gets away from Mervue United's Luke Doyle. Picture: David Keane.
Midleton's Liam McGrath gets away from Mervue United's Luke Doyle. Picture: David Keane.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Midleton U16s drive into the last four of the National Cup

Midleton 3 

Mervue United 1

MIDLETON advanced into the semi-final of the U16 Skechers National Cup with a comfortable 3-1 quarter-final win over Mervue United of Galway at Knockgriffin Park last Sunday afternoon, courtesy of a brace from Fintan Cody and a late goal from Jack Dawson seeing them through.

The main talking point about this match was the high wind which blew down the pitch in the first half then across the pitch, making life difficult for the players who had to contend with the blustery conditions, then sleet and rain late in the second half.

The rain and wind didn’t matter to Midleton and almost scored in the first two minutes when Niall Corcoran’s header from a corner was caught on the line by the Mervue keeper.

Midleton keeper Diarmuid Byrne did well to cover at the near post from Eoin Okono shortly after, while Midleton were unlucky not to score from a corner kick, the ball scrambled across the Mervue goal line and away in the eighth minute.

However, by the 10th minute the home side had taken the lead when Fintan Cody raced through the centre and slotted the ball past James Egan from 15 yards for the opening score.

Ten minutes later Mervue had equalised courtesy of Mark Cunningham.

Play was now going from end to end, Mervue keeper diving at the feet of an advancing Jack Dawson and did well to hold on to a swaying shot from Kalem Keane moments later, while Midleton keeper Diarmuid Byrne did well to keep out Luke Doyle’s close ranged stubbed shot on the half hour.

Midleton regained the lead when a 35-yard wind assisted free kick from Fintan Cody went over the head of Egan and into the net as the home side went in at the break 2-1 up.

 Mervue United's James Egan is beaten by a well-struck free kick from Midleton's Fintan Cody. Picture: David Keane.
Mervue United's James Egan is beaten by a well-struck free kick from Midleton's Fintan Cody. Picture: David Keane.

In the second half, Mervue, the wind now behind them, pressed for the equaliser with even their keeper attempting a long-range shot on goal which went wide of the target. Chances fell to Mervue’s Joshua O’Connor and Tom Kidd without success, but in the 66th minute, Midleton put the game beyond doubt when Jack Dawson stabbed the ball into the net following a goalmouth scramble as the home side were now 3-1 up with time running out for the Tribesmen.

 Midleton's Jack Dawson keeps control as Mervue United's Aaron Neary closes in. Picture: David Keane.
Midleton's Jack Dawson keeps control as Mervue United's Aaron Neary closes in. Picture: David Keane.

A heavy, wintry rain shower made conditions difficult underfoot for the players as the pace quickened as Mervue pressed forward looking to get back into the game.

However, despite spending some time in the Midleton half, especially in the remaining 15 minutes of the game, the home side held firm and progressed into the semi-final of the competition on a 3-1 scoreline.

MIDLETON: Diarmuid Byrne, David Connolly, Jack Mallon, James Crowley, Ronan Ymedji, Niall Corcoran, Kalem Keane, Daniel O’Donovan, Jack Dawson, Fintan Cody, Liam McGrath, David Ahamefula, Shay Bohan, Ronan Gies, Darragh Ymedy, Cian Murray, Tomas Lambe, Nelly Ahamefula.

MERVUE: James Egan, Aaron Neary, Joshua O’Connor, Ben Stanik, Mark Cunningham, Adam White, Luke Doyle, Tom Kidd, Dara O’Malley, Cian Griffin, Tom O’Neill, Eoin Okono, Conal Gallagher, Dara Sheehan, Michael O’Connor, Jack Folan, Aaron Kavanagh, Ben Lawlor.

Referee: Richard O’Gorman