Cork City's Mark O'Mahony hits a hat-trick for Ireland in 7-1 Malta win

Cathal Heffernan also made an impact for Colin O'Brien's side
Cork City's Mark O'Mahony hits a hat-trick for Ireland in 7-1 Malta win

Mark O'Mahony of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring for the U17s at Turner's Cross in October. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

CORK City striker Mark O'Mahony hit a hat-trick for the Ireland U18s in a 7-1 win over Malta. 

Cork City legend Colin O'Brien is the head coach of the side, who also played out a 0-0 with the hosts on Tuesday. 

Highly-rated Cork City defender Cathal Heffernan featured alongside O'Mahony in the second game and he opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a smart finish before Michael Leddy rose highest to head home the second following a clever free.

A shell-shocked Malta sought a quick response with Irish goalkeeper Noah Jauny forced to cut out a dangerous cross in the 16th minute. Malta were awarded a penalty seven minutes later following a clash with Jauny who was forced off as a result. Substitute goalkeeper Conor Walsh was unable to save the resulting spot-kick with Malta captain Jake Micallef halving the deficit.

Ireland resumed their dominance and restored their two-goal lead in the 31st minute. O’Mahony adding his second, sweeping home a low David Toure cross.

The second half commenced with Ireland adding a fourth from the penalty spot after a handball as O’Mahony completed his hat-trick. 

Ireland made it five minutes later with Jad Hakiki finding the back of the net.

Colin O’Brien introduced Bohemians' Jamie Mullins and St Patrick’s Athletic's Tom Lonergan on the 53rd minute with Lonergan, while Justin Ferizaj, Dara McGuinness and Sam Curtis were all brought on with 25 minutes remaining, adding energy to the Irish side.

Ireland grabbed a sixth in the 74th minute with Jad Hakiki showing great skill in the middle of the field before finding Tom Lonergan and the Pat’s man found space to slot home. 

The hosts were denied a consolation as they saw a goal disallowed for off-side before substitute Alex Murphy made it a magnificent seven.

IRELAND: Jauny (Walsh ’23), Murphy (c), Ben Curtis, Heffernan, McManus (Ferizaj ’66), Ryan, Toure (Sam Curtis ’66), Gallagher (Mullins ’53), Hakiki, O’Mahony (Lonergan ’53), Leddy (McGuinness ’66).

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