Franco Umeh and Liam Murray fire Cork City U17s to cup glory against Galway

1,201 fans were in Turner's Cross for the EA Sports U17 Mark Farren Cup final with home keeper Aaron Mannix making a series of key saves
Franco Umeh and Liam Murray fire Cork City U17s to cup glory against Galway

Franco Umeh after his goal for Cork City against Galway United in the U17 Mark Farren Cup final at Turner's Cross. Picture: Doug Minihane

Cork City 2 Galway United 1

Cork City lifted the EA Sports U17 Mark Farren Cup when they defeated Galway United 2-1 in the final at Turner’s Cross.

Goals in the second half from Franco Umeh and Liam Murray, along with a number of stunning saves from the man of the match Aaron Mannix, were enough to see City claim the silverware against a spirited Galway side, who grabbed a late consolation through their own Liam Murray.

This U17 squad were hoping to go one better than their club’s U15s who were recently beaten 2-0 in the National League of Ireland Cup final by Finn Harps last Saturday.

Cork City celebrate Franco Umeh's goal against Galway United in the U17 Mark Farren Cup final at Turner's Cross. Picture: Doug Minihane
Cork City celebrate Franco Umeh's goal against Galway United in the U17 Mark Farren Cup final at Turner's Cross. Picture: Doug Minihane

Roared on by a crowd of 1,201, the Rebel Army started the game on the front foot but Franco Umeh and Éanna Fitzgerald could only send their efforts well over the crossbar from decent positions.

Umeh also had two penalties appeals correctly waved away by the referee as the half progressed before he squandered a glorious chance before the interval but the winger delayed his shot when through on goal and the excellent Alex Murphy produced a brilliant last-ditch block to deny his goalbound effort.

In between those moments, Galway grew into the contest and created a couple of excellent goal-scoring opportunities of their own.

In the 31st minute, Ronan Bambara raced through the heart of the City midfield before rolling the ball into the path of David Tarmey inside the area but after composing himself, the striker blasted his strike straight at goalkeeper Aaron Mannix.

And just moments later, the quick feet and subsequent clipped cross by Mark O’Halloran found Tarmey in front of goal but the number nine couldn’t readjust to head home from a few yards out.

United were the more dominant side in the second half and City needed Mannix to produce a string of sensational saves to deny Murphy’s volley as well as two powerful close-range headers from Tarmey and Mark O’Halloran.

Those two headers came after City had snatched the lead when Umeh tapped home with 20 minutes remaining following good work from Fitzgerald and Murray in the build-up.

Murray made it 2-0 in the 84th minute when he opened his body and expertly slotted the ball into the far bottom left corner and although his namesake pulled one back for Galway in injury time, City hung on to land the cup.

The Cork City U17 team before the Mark Farren Cup final against Galway at Turner's Cross.
The Cork City U17 team before the Mark Farren Cup final against Galway at Turner's Cross.

CORK CITY: Aaron Mannix, John O’Donovan, Donnchad O’Doherty, Charlie O’Brien, Leon Ayinde, Éanna Fitzgerald, Zach Dunne, Josh Fitzpatrick, Liam Murray, Franco Umeh, Ciaran Hodanu.

Subs: Cathal Heffernan for Josh Fitzpatrick (61), Kennedy Amechi for Éanna Fitzgerald (75), Arran Healy for Franco Umeh (81).

GALWAY UNITED: Kieran McDonagh, Churchill Idemudia, Ronan Ariguzo, Ryan Nolan, Mark O’Halloran, Steven Healy, David Tarmey, Adam O’Halloran, Mikey McCullagh, Alex Murphy, Ronan Bambara.

Subs: Patrick Baranyai for Ronan Ariguzo (73), Liam Murray for Churchill Idemudia (84), James Lukau for Steven Healy (84).

Referee: Lucas Keating.

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