Corinthians Boys 2
(after extra time).
CORINTHIAN BOYS claimed the U16 Joma Sportsgear Direct local cup in dramatic circumstances as they came from behind to defeat a battling Midleton side 2-1 at Turner’s Cross on Tuesday evening.
Captain Harvey Skieters' leveller in the last second of normal time cancelled out Geroge Alamu’s first-half goal for Midleton before Darragh Gough’s superb strike at the beginning of extra time won the silverware for Corinthians Boys.
Corinthians created the first goal-scoring opportunity of the evening inside the first minute but after Ben Heinen and Max Lee combined down the left-hand side, striker Luke O’Donnell could only head the deflected cross tamely at goalkeeper Oran Sweetnam.
Midleton soon settled into the game and began to dominate with Daniel Murnane going close in the seventh minute but his low drive was saved by keeper Eoin O’Flynn.
Ryan Sexton decided to try his luck a few moments later but his ambitions went unrewarded as his strike from the edge of the penalty whistled over the crossbar.
His fellow midfielder Evan Bolster had a shot at goal from even further out with a quarter of an hour on the clock but his half volley dropped over the target as Midleton became more desperate to make their superiority count on the scoreboard.
The first water break of the game gave Corinthians the chance to regroup but it failed to affect Midleton’s momentum going forward and they soon got the opening goal thanks to George Alamu in the 25th minute.
The goal itself came about courtesy of a hint of good fortune as Alamu pounced on the centre-back’s failure to cut out the ball, and the striker punished the error to full effect by shrugging off the recovering challenge before coolly slotting the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.
Corinthians, to their credit, responded well to falling behind and they ought to have levelled terms with half an hour played but their number seven Max Lee rolled the ball wide of the bottom right corner when through one on one with the onrushing keeper.
They again threatened less than sixty seconds later but unfortunately for them, it was the same outcome as Luke O’Donnell’s volley from a good position inside the box went wide of the same right post.
The Magpies used the half-time break to their benefit as they started the second period on the front foot, looking for the finish that would give them complete control of proceedings.
Daniel Murnane whistled a thunderous hit from 20 yards just past the near upright shortly after the restart and he also played his part as his side went even closer to finding the net moments later.
The forward’s powerful free-kick was parried by O’Flynn and into the path of Tadgh O’Leary Hayes but the Corinthians number one did well to react and brilliantly save the close-range rebound.
As the game drew to a close, Midleton were penned back but led by O’Leary Hayes they restricted their rivals to few attempts with Darragh Gough and Ben Heinen failing to truly test the shot-stopper.
Midleton survived two late scares as Corinthians’ Shane Barrys saw his delivery from the right-wing crash against their crossbar before a goalbound shot was hacked off the line in injury time.
They thought they had done enough to secure the cup but with the last kick of the game - five minutes into injury time - Harvey Skieters broke into the box and tucked the ball into the far bottom left corner of the net to send the game into extra time.
It proved to be too huge a blow for Midleton to recover from and Corinthians completed the comeback a couple of minutes into the additional period when Darragh Gough turned and planted the ball inside the far right post to secure the cup for his side.
CORINTHIANS BOYS: Eoin O’Flynn, Danny McCarthy, Harry Quilligan, Tim O’Brien, Ben Heinen, Eric Cunningham, Max Lee, Matthew Broderick, Harvey Skieters, Luke O’Donnell, Darragh Gough, Robert Quirke, Conor O’Sullivan, Shane Barry, Rian O’Riordain, Jerry Murphy, Robbie O’Brien, David Healy.
MIDLETON: Oran Sweetnam, Ronan Birdthistle, David Uyilanky, Tadgh O’Leary Hayes, Niall Baylor, Darragh O’Brien, Evan Bolster, Cian Lambe, George Alamu, Daniel Murnane, Ryan Sexton, Aaron Desmond, Dylan Hayes Maher, Evan McGrath, Daragh Bagnell Hartnett, Alex Moloney.
Referee: Pat Ryan.