MSL soccer: Ringmahon Rangers advance to junior league cup final

Aherne's goal sets up clash with Everton United who beat Everton after extra-time in second semi-final
MSL soccer: Ringmahon Rangers advance to junior league cup final

Ringmahon Rangers’ Adam O’Callaghan and Carrigaline United’s Paul Harding race for the ball in the Beamish Stout Junior League Cup semi-final at Ringmahon Park. Picture Denis Minihane

Ringmahon Rangers 1

Carrigaline United 0

RINGMAHON RANGERS and Everton United will contest next Saturday’s Beamish Stout Junior League Cup final at Rockenham Park (6.30pm).

Ringmahon had a narrow 1-0 win over fellow premier side Carrigaline United, while first division Everton United beat the club’s premier division team 3-2 after extra-time.

The game in Ringmahon Park was a close affair and, overall, the home probably edged matters slightly, though Iain Aherne’s winning goal late in the first half proved to be contentious with Carrigaline furious that it stood.

Prior to the goal, Carrigaline had slightly the better of the first half, though there wasn’t a lot in it.

The first real chance of the game came in the 12th minute when Carrigaline’s Stephen Barry stole possession from Ringmahon defender Craig Collins 25 yards from goal. Keeper Cian O’Connor was off his line, but the striker’s attempted lob didn’t have enough height on it and O’Connor grabbed the ball out of the air.

At the other end, five minutes later, Aherne hit a dropping ball from distance that wasn’t far off target.

Finn O’Brien was busy on the right flank for Carrigaline and from one of his corner kicks he found Zach Mannus in the penalty area, but he couldn’t direct his header on target.

A minute later a skewed clearance by O’Connor from a back pass saw the ball fall nicely for Wayne O’Halloran just outside the area. He tried to head over the stranded keeper, but his effort lacked power and O’Connor gathered easily.

On the half-hour mark, O’Brien and Cian O’Flaherty combined for the latter to fire over as Carrigaline began to get on top in the contest.

They did have a scare in their own box, though, when a moment of indecision allowed Stephen Morrissey to gain possession, but as he bore down on goal he was halted by a fantastic tackle from Jack Turner.

O’Brien was in the thick of it again with five minutes remaining in the half, combining with O’Halloran whose shot flew over.

Carrigaline had the edge at this point, but it was Ringmahon who broke the deadlock with first-half time almost up. A high delivery into the six-yard box saw Aherne go high with Carrigaline keeper Jason McDonnell who spilled the ball and it bounced over the line as referee Paul O’Sullivan waved away Carrigaline’s protests for a foul on the keeper.

Ringmahon, the happier side at half-time, emerged from the break with a spring their step. Early on, a Jordan Delurey corner dropped dangerously in the Carrigaline penalty area before being cleared for another corner, and from Adam O’Callaghan’s flag-kick Jordan O’Regan drove the dropping ball wide.

Just before the hour mark, O’Callaghan, who was lively throughout the half having come on at the break, burst forward from halfway on the left, across the pitch, before getting off a good strike from the edge of the penalty area which McDonnell had to push away.

Carrigaline tried to get back into the tie and an O’Halloran shot from distance was easily saved by O’Connor.

Carrigaline upped the tempo in their quest for an equaliser and midway through the half O’Flaherty went close with a shot that went narrowly over while Mannus brought a fantastic save out of O’Connor who tipped over for a corner.

From the corner, O’Flaherty got free on the left side of the area, but again O’Connor denied Carrigaline with a fine save at his near post.

McDonnell then had to save at the other end, a Delurey free which the keeper turned around the post.

Carrigaline threw everything at Ringmahon in the final few minutes, including McDonnell for a late corner and the keeper was almost caught out by O’Callaghan as he retreated to his goal, but he made a fine interception with an outstretched leg to deny the youngster, in the final act of the game.

Ringmahon’s opponents in next Saturday’s final, Everton United, upset the odds in the other semi-final at Everton Park.

Everton went into this game on top of the premier division table, but they fell behind to an Aaron West goal in the first half.

Rob O’Sullivan equalised before the break, but a Kieran Wynning header had United ahead again in the second half.

The first division side looked like they had secured their place in the final until, in the dying moments, Everton keeper Cian Hammond went up for a corner and powerfully headed home the equaliser.

United’s heads didn’t drop though, and they hit back in extra-time; Luke Forde giving them the lead for the third and final time to seal their date with Ringmahon.

RINGMAHON RANGERS: Cian O’Connor, Robbie White, Jordan Delurey, Craig Collins, Derek O’Sullivan, James Morrissey, Dean McCarthy, Dylan O’Regan-Forde, Iain Aherne, Jordan O’Regan, Stephen Morrissey.

Subs: Adam O’Callaghan for Morrissey (h/t), Dion Hennessy for Aherne (60), Ray Delaney for Morrissey (70).

CARRIGALINE UNITED: Jason McDonnell, Steven Gorman, Jack Turner, Ian Drinan, Paul Harding, Cian O’Flaherty, Finn O’Brien, Zach Mannus, Wayne O’Halloran, Stephen Barry, Robert O’Mahony.

Subs: Adam Brooks for Barry (58), Sean Holmes for O’Halloran and Glady Ohar Mabib for Turner (both 69), Sean Byrne for Drinan (77).

Referee: Paul O’Sullivan.

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