Carrigaline United 2
CARRIGALINE UNITED lifted the U17 Teddy Healy Cup after they defeated a spirited Everton side 2-0 at Turner’s Cross on Sunday afternoon.
Second-half goals from Ciaran Kearney and Warren Murphy were enough to earn Carrigaline the silverware and complete the first leg of what they hope will ultimately become a league and cup double.
Everton were arguably the underdogs in this showpiece occasion but you wouldn’t have guessed that at the start of this game as they were the side who dominated the opening exchanges.
Winger Darragh McEniry had the first sight at goal after just four minutes but his long-range curler was easily saved by goalkeeper Sam Grundza, who later caught James O’Keeffe’s ambitious free-kick.
But Carrigaline soon settled into the contest and they ought to have taken the lead in the 13th minute.
Jack Mangan’s excellent pass in behind the defence released the lively Conor Varian - younger brother of Stoke City’s Ethon - but Everton goalkeeper Mark Lashkul, who was named man of the match, was alert to the danger and raced from his line to deny the striker.
Winger Aaron McCarthy thought he had scored with 19 minutes on the clock as he latched onto a superb through ball from Varian, rounded the onrushing keeper, and slotted home at the St Anne’s End but his celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s offside flag.
United were now dominating this cup final but they just couldn’t find a way past Lashkul before the half time break as the Everton number one stopped McCarthy’s low drive when facing the forward one on one before he then turned his powerful strike wide of his goal from a similar attack.
The men from Togher regrouped during the interval and restricted their rivals to attempts from distance which either sailed harmlessly wide of the target or were graciously gathered by Lashkul.
But eventually, the class of the Daly Industrial Supplies U17 Premier League title-chasers told as they finally broke the deadlock just past the hour mark thanks to Ciaran Kearney.
A fine cross from the left-wing dropped just over the head of Varian at the back post but it fell perfectly for Kearney who watched it all the way and expertly side-footed his volley into the far bottom left corner.
Carrigaline, now relieved and full of confidence, continued to pile forward and after waiting over an hour to celebrate their first goal, they only had to wait two minutes to celebrate their second.
It was the only blemish on an otherwise faultless game for the Everton’s keeper but he was guilty of dropping a hopeful cross into the path of Warren Murphy, allowing the defender to turn the ball across the line at the Shed End.
Lashkul made another great reaction save to turn Varian’s shot over his bar and that helped Everton finish strongly.
But the closest they came to setting up an interesting finale saw James O’Keeffe’s thunderous hit tipped wide of his bottom left corner by Sam Grundza as Carrigaline hung on to land the cup.
CARRIGALINE UNITED: Sam Grundza, Jack Mangan, Jack Hackett, Killian McNulty, Warren Murphy, Zack Walsh, Ciaran Kearney, Sean Casey, Conor Varian, Daragh Mulchinock, Aaron McCarthy.
Subs: Samuel Horan for Aaron McCarthy (71), Scott Connolly for Zack Walsh (77), Tommy Spooner for Conor Varian (80), Sean Twomey for Jack Hackett (84), Evan Cotter for Sean Casey (93).
EVERTON: Mark Lashkul, Evan Morgan, Ryan O’Connell, Oisin Flood, Cody Lawson, Senan Walsh, Zack O’Sullivan, Jakub Sienicki, Hogo Doherty, James O’Keeffe, Darragh McEniry.
Subs: Jack Mallon for Hogo Doherty (57), Conor Deady for Oisin Flood (73).
Referee: Timmy Kelleher.