Midleton 1 Kilmacrennan 0
MIDLETON are through to the semi-finals of the SFAI Subway U12 National Cup.
Ben Dumigan’s goal midway through the second half against Kilmacrennan of Donegal was the difference in a pulsating cup tie played in front of a large crowd at Knockgriffin Park last Saturday afternoon.
This was a game played at an electric pace, often going from end to end with some excellent skills being shown by youngsters who were both a credit to their club and community who gave well over 100% each to a player over the hour.
The home side started well and could have scored within the first minute when Sean Dempsey came forward along the near side and crossed into Darragh Mullins whose effort on goal was well blocked by the Kilmacrennan keeper.
Six minutes later and the visitors had a similar chance with Midleton keeper Jago Evans diving at the feet of Ciaran Cunnaghan who managed to get behind the Midleton defence.
Play at this stage was very even between two evenly matched sides who were looking for opportunities and the slightest chance to break into the backline.
Midleton were pressing forward, and although they had a majority of possession, could not get the all-important touch towards goal. As a result, chances on goal were few and far between, with Kilmacrennan’s Harry Shields forcing a save from Evans who had to come out from his line to gather the ball right at his feet.
The home side had two good chances in the opening two minutes of the second half which could have broken the deadlock. The first was when Cormac Deane’s pass found Dempsey whose effort was smothered by the visiting keeper and who had a similar chance moments later which was again covered.
Midleton were pressing forward and forced a number of corners with one being punched away by the visiting keeper and another went right past all of the players bouncing along the six-yard box as the home side were looking for the all-important opening score.
Another good chance came in the 43rd minute, again from a corner which saw a header cleared off the Kilmacrennan line and scrambled away.
The goal eventually came in the 47th minute when Dempsey managed to break through the Kilmacrennan defence and passed to Ben Dumigan who managed to score from close range at the far post despite the best effort of the keeper.
It was no more than Midleton deserved as at that time had dominated the play and possession and it was only a matter of time before they found the back of the net.
Kilmacrennan looked for the equaliser in the final 13 minutes of the game with the home keeper clearing from an advancing Ronan Cunningham.
Midleton held firm and greeted the final whistle with delight as they look forward to the National Cup semi-final.
MIDLETON: Jago Evans, Dara Birdthistle, Donnacha Horgan, Max Murphy, Zak Butler, Ben Fitzgerald, Sean Dempsey, Cormac Deane, Darragh Mullins, Evan Murphy, Jack Walsh, Triston Sweeney, Scott Dunlea, Alex Horgan, Ben Dumigan.
KILMACRENNAN: Conor McGrendra, Jamie McFadden, Jake Burrows, Rowan McGroarty, Zach Gallagher, Finn McGrenra, Ronan Cunningham, Harry Shields, Charlie Gorman, Jamie Toland, Oisin Friel, Brennan Cunningham, Ciaran Cunnaghan.
Referee: Bryan Forde