Midleton battle hard in U13 National Cup final loss to Shamrock Rovers

Cork side pushed the highly-rated Rovers group all the way at Turner's Cross
Midleton battle hard in U13 National Cup final loss to Shamrock Rovers

Alfie Hennessy in action for Midleton against Shamrock Rovers. Picture: Larry Cummins

Midleton 0 Shamrock Rovers 1

SHAMROCK Rovers captured the Subway U13 National Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Midleton in front of a large crowd at Turner's Cross, with the Cork side winning many admirers for their gutsy performance against a strong Dublin outfit.

Rovers pressed forward from the start, Richie Ferizaj’s header going just wide after only two minutes while Victor Ozhianvuna and Thomas Barrett had chances at the far post as Midleton were forced back into their own half as Rovers looked for an early score.

Rovers almost opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Desmond Armstrong found himself in front of the Midleton keeper Jack Mills who managed to block his effort on goal from eight yards, and also saved well from Armstrong’s effort two minutes later as Rovers had the Midleton defence under pressure.

The Dublin outfit continued to dominate, Noble Tettah finding himself through on the near side only to see his effort blocked for a corner, while the Midleton keeper was particularly busy saving well from Armstrong and Stephen Kelly and was glad to see Armstrong’s effort sail well over.

Rovers eventually found their way through in the 26th minute when Joel McPhail’s pass found Ferizaj at the far corner who neatly slotted the ball past Mills for the opening score.

 Midleton goalkeeper Jack Mills about to kick upfield against Shamrock Rovers. Picture: Larry Cummins
Midleton goalkeeper Jack Mills about to kick upfield against Shamrock Rovers. Picture: Larry Cummins

Midleton rarely found themselves in Rovers' half, although Alex Wilson managed to run towards the keeper just before the break only to be well tackled by the Rovers defender and duly cleared as the whistle blew for halftime.

Rovers continued where they left off and dominated the second half and almost went two up in the 34th minute only for Ozhianvuna’s effort cleared off well inside the six-yard box by Ciaran Kelly.

Midleton were forced back for most of the game but did manage to break into the Rovers penalty area following a 35-yard free-kick, the ball just beyond the reach of Charlie McCarthy.

That was as good as it got for Midleton as Rovers continued to build forward and create chances.

The Midleton team must be commended for holding Rovers at bay, who up to now had found the net 35 times on their way to the final with Midleton keeper Jack Mills saving well from Ozhianvuna, Armstrong and Ferizaj, with every move into the Rovers half by Midleton’s Wilson and Shay Forde cheered on by the large Midleton supporters.

In the end, it was Shamrock Rovers who took the title, but Midleton who won the admiration from the large attendance.

 Robbie Keane posed for photos with Midleton supporters after the game. Picture: Larry Cummins
Robbie Keane posed for photos with Midleton supporters after the game. Picture: Larry Cummins

MIDLETON: Jack Mills, Ronan MacKessy, Stephen Comerford, Ciaran Kelly, Artan Iliukovic, Charlie McCarthy, Charlie McCarthy, Alex Wilson, Ben Dumigan, Eduard Pidoyma, Caleb Murray, Alfie Hennessy, Shay Forde, Eoin McCarthy, Ryan Cremin, Alex Molumby, Cillian Galvin, Brayan Wiecek.

SHAMROCK: Stanislaw Wasilewski, Brody Collins, Desmond Armstrong, Joel McPhail, Noble Tettah, Preston Gaynor, Richie Ferizaj, Robert Keane, Stephen Kelly, Tadgh Prizeman, Thomas Barrett, Victor Ozhianvuna, Tunde Anunlopo, Alex Curtis, Andrew McAuley, Jack Greene, Jack Carr, Danny Burke.

Referee: Timmy Kelleher

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