Cruellest of exits for Corinthians in U15 National Cup quarter-final

Cruellest of exits for Corinthians in U15 National Cup quarter-final
Corinthian Boys' goalkeeper Eoin O'Flynn punches the ball away from goal as Matthew Alonge of Cherry Orchard. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Corinthian Boys 2 Cherry Orchard 2
Cherry Orchard win 7-6 on penalties

CORINTHIAN BOYS are out of the SFAI Skechers U15 National Cup after they were beaten by Cherry Orchard on penalties in a highly entertaining quarter-final clash at Castletreasure on Sunday afternoon.

Corinthians twice battled back from a goal down in normal time thanks to superb goals from Dara Gough and Harvey Skieters to force extra time.

As the two sides couldn’t be separated in that additional period of play, the game had to be decided by the dreaded penalty shootout.

And with the sides locked at 6-6 after eight penalties each, the excellent Henry O’Connor converted his spot kick for Orchard, while goalkeeper Eoin O’Flynn — who deserves credit for stepping forward — missed for Corinthians and they bowed out at the last-eight stage.

Corinthians have only played four games in the Cork Schoolboys League U15 Premier Division, and with three wins to their name, they remain firmly in the hunt to claim that title.

After an even start here, they had the first sight on goal in the 10th minute, but after doing brilliantly to win the ball high up the pitch, Matt Broderick’s strike from distance was saved low by goalkeeper Alex Power.

The cup tie really sparked into life 10 minutes before the half-time break as Cherry Orchard broke the deadlock thanks to a neat finish from Sean Connolly.

A great run to the end-line by Matthew Alonge allowed him to pull the ball back towards Connolly, and the striker coolly slotted the ball into the bottom-left corner.

But Corinthians were only behind for around two minutes before they made it 1-1. Dara Gough, on the edge of the box, shifted the ball onto his left and drilled a powerful strike into the bottom-right corner.

The home side were now on top, but couldn’t grab a second before the break as Gough and Jerry Murphy went close with theirattempts.

The Dublin club regrouped during the interval and they retook the lead midway through the second period with an incredible finish from Joshua Kerr.

There didn’t seem to be a lot on at first, but Kerr managed to cleverly clip a brilliant shot over the goalkeeper from distance and into the back of the net.

But their Cork rivals again showed their character as they equalised almost immediately after falling behind for the second time.

Harvey Skieters pounced on a rushed clearance from the Orchard keeper and somehow squeezed his long-range effort past the recovering defender on the line.

Corinthian Boys' Harvey Skieters scores a second half goal against Cherry Orchard. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Corinthian Boys' Harvey Skieters scores a second half goal against Cherry Orchard. Picture: Denis Minihane.

They almost won it late on, but Robert Quirke’s header was cleared off the line, so extra time was required.

Orchard were now the better team, but they couldn’t edge in front until the game finally went to penalties and they eventually edged past their spirited opponents after sudden death to reach the semis.

CORINTHIAN BOYS: Eoin O’Flynn, Robert Quirke, Robbie O’Brien, Tim O’ Brien, David Healy, Jerry Murphy, Conor O’Sullivan, Matt Broderick, Harvey Skieters, Dara Gough, Max Lee.

Subs: Daniel McCarthy, Ben Heinen, Colin Molloy, Luke O’Donnell, Worey Millar, and Shane Barry.

CHERRY ORCHARD: Alex Power, Luke O’Regan, Max Hennessy, Bobby Pakenham, David Monahan, Mark Flood, Henry O’Connor, Joshua Kerr, Max Mason, Sean Connolly, Matthew Alonge.

Subs: Bartek Standa, Jamie Fox and Elliot Williams.

Referee: Brian Ford.

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