Douglas Hall U13s pull off stunning cup comeback against Mallow at Turner's Cross

Two goals down in the latter stages of a gripping game, Hall forced extra time and then took home the silverware
Douglas Hall U13s pull off stunning cup comeback against Mallow at Turner's Cross

Douglas Hall captain Darragh O'Flaherty lifting the cup high as players celebrate winning the Cork Schoolboys League U13 Local Cup final at Turner's Cross. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Douglas Hall 4 Mallow Town 3 (after extra time)

DOUGLAS Hall were two goals down in the closing stages of this U13 Local Cup final but somehow they rallied to lift the silverware after a hard-earned 4-3 win against Mallow Town after extra time at Turner’s Cross on Thursday night.

A brace from Mallow’s Abraham Erhabor and a goal from Hall’s Liam O’Regan, who was named Man of the Match, helped ensure the side’s remained locked at 3-3 at the end of normal time but in the additional period a neat Jack Punch finish, to complete his hat-trick, won it for Douglas.

Douglas Hall players celebrate the winning goal against Mallow Town. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Douglas Hall players celebrate the winning goal against Mallow Town. Picture: Denis Minihane.

There are just six points separating these two sides in the Roy Keane U13 Premier League table at the time of writing although Mallow Town in sixth has two games in hand over Douglas Hall in second.

And it was Hall who started this game on the front foot and Town goalkeeper Sean Downey needed to get down low to his left to stop Punch’s low strike before he then tipped over a dangerous free from captain Darragh O’Flaherty.

Mallow eventually settled into the contest and midway through the first half they took the lead thanks to a sensational finish from Donnchadh Dingivan.

The talented number two secured possession 25 yards out from goal and shortly after getting the ball out of his feet he drilled it into the far bottom left corner of the Shed End net.

And just three minutes later they doubled their lead with an equally impressive solo effort from the excellent Erhabor, who scored a brace and was named star player in their U12 Blackwater Motors Local Cup triumph last year.

Mallow Town's Abraham Erhabor struck for two goals. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Mallow Town's Abraham Erhabor struck for two goals. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The midfielder didn’t seem to have a lot of options so he decided to run at the defence and after he charged past a couple of his opponents he coolly rolled the ball past the keeper and just inside the back post.

But Hall responded well to those setbacks and with virtually the last kick of the first half, they halved the deficit thanks to O’Regan, who beat the offside trap, controlled a hopeful ball in behind the backline, and crashed his half-volley in against the underside of the crossbar.

Town perhaps needed the half-time break and they used it effectively to regroup and regain their composure, and just eight minutes into the second period they restored their two-goal advantage when Erhabor fired in from a corner.

But just when Mallow looked like they had won, Hall, amazingly, snatched two quickfire goals - a tap in from Punch and a stunning 25-yard curler from him found the top right corner - late on to somehow send the game to extra time.

And in the second period of the added time, Punch got what proved to be the winner when he slotted the ball into the far bottom right corner after reclaiming possession high up the pitch to secure the trophy for Hall at the expense of a spirited Town squad, who saw Erhabor sent off late on.

Celebration time for Douglas Hall. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Celebration time for Douglas Hall. Picture: Denis Minihane.

DOUGLAS HALL: Darragh Barry, Rowan O’Byrne, Darragh O’Flaherty, Ronan McCarthy, Tom Collins, Mark Keeshan, John James Dollard Young, Liam O’Regan, Jack Punch, Danny O’Donovan, MacDarragh Lynch, Cillian Ross, Thomas Kiernan, Patrick Murphy, Finn Doyle, Josh Newton, Josh Dunne, Kyle Barry.

MALLOW TOWN: Sean Downey, Golden Edogbo, Dylan Heffernan, Christopher Jones, Harry Punch, Abraham Erhabor, Calum Dempsey, Adrian Jedrys, Bobby O’Sullivan, Donnchadh Dingivan, Jay Thompson, Reilly O’Connor, Adam Kiely, Aindreas Kiely, Oisin McCarthy, Szymon Kozimala.

Referee: Kieran Burns.

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