St Kevin’s Boys 3
MIDLETON are out of the SFAI Sketchers under 12 National Cup as they were narrowly beaten 3-2 by a talented St Kevin’s Boys side in an enthralling semi-final clash played at Knockgriffin Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Dublin club raced out of the traps and they looked set to progress to the final in style as they were 3-0 ahead by the half time break thanks to goals from Jamie Brennan, Jake Scott, and Sam Rooney.
But their Cork opponents showed quality and great character in the second half and goals from substitute Euan Murphy and Cormac Deane got them right back in the cup tie.
But it just wasn’t to be their day as although they twice came close to an equaliser late on, St Kevin’s Boys held on to claim their play in the national final.
The visitors started the game on the front foot and they broke the deadlock in just the third minute albeit it came in fortuitous circumstances.
The excellent Jamie Brennan took responsibility for a free-kick just outside the penalty area and his powerful strike took a wicked deflection before deceiving the goalkeeper and nestling in the bottom right corner.
Kevin’s remained composed in possession and dangerous going forward with Midleton needing their goalkeeper Jago Evans to bail them out on a couple of occasions.
But the shot-stopper was again beaten with 13 minutes on the clock and again there wasn’t anything he could do to stop it.
Zac Kiely cleverly found Brennan inside the area and his quick feet allowed him to get a shot of way but after it was blocked, the alert Jake Scott was on hand to hammer the rebound into the roof of the net.
They added a third just before the interval when striker Sam Rooney rose highest to head in Brennan’s cross at the back stick.
Midleton now had a mountain to climb in the second period but they reduced the deficit shortly after the restart when Euan Murphy drilled Cormac Deane’s lay off past the keeper from close range.
They set up a grandstand finish when Deane gave them the belief that the comeback was on with a thumping header from a corner with 14 minutes to go.
Euan and Max Murphy both missed decent chances to level late on but St Kevin’s Boys hung on to reach the final.
MIDLETON: Jago Evans, Donnacha Horgan, Jack Walsh, Max Murphy, Zak Burke, Ben Fitzgerald, Dara Birdthistle, Cormac Deane, Sean Dempsey.
Subs: Scott Dunlea, Darragh Mullins, Euan Murphy, Alex Horgan, Ben Dumigan.
ST KEVINS BOYS: Finn McDonnell, Christian Coyle, Max Ferguson, Sam Kierns, Alex Flynn, Zac Kiely, Jamie Brennan, Jake Scott, Sam Rooney.
Subs: Cillian Millar, Harry Giffney, Ryan McQueen.
Referee: Bryan Forde.