Nemo Rangers 4-9
MIDLETON overturned a seven-point half time deficit to beat Nemo Rangers by a goal in a thrilling U14 Premier 2 Football League Final in Mayfield.
The Magpies had the better of the chances early on, but Nemo struck first through Mark O’Keefe, as he finished strongly to open the game with a goal. Jamie Cripps then scored an excellent point from a tight angle after receiving the ball from Morgan Corkery to give Rangers an early four-point lead.
Midleton answered with scores from Peader Egan and Jack Cahill, but Nemo got one back through Corkery. O’Keefe turned up with a second goal inside 12 minutes, and Callum McCarthy O’Donovan split the posts to extend their lead to seven.
Midleton’s Liam Walsh scored a great goal in response, but Nemo produced a blistering second quarter, bagging 1-4 from play - which included O’Keefe’s third goal, and an excellent score from Corkery, putting Rangers 11 ahead.
Charlie McCarthy played an excellent long ball over the top which found John O’Sullivan. The Midleton wing-forward turned and finished into the bottom corner before a Rory Nolan point kept them within touching distance.
Cahill gave Midleton a lifeline at the start of the second half, as his solo effort got them back into the game. White Flags from O’Sullivan, Cahill and McCarthy brought the gap down to one with 20 minutes left to play.
Another long ball in from McCarthy found O’Sullivan, though this time his effort was blocked. Cahill raced in and headed the rebound into the back of the net, putting Midleton in front for the first time.
Nemo replied with a goal, as Jack Sweeney did brilliantly to save McCarthy O’Donovan’s effort, but the Midleton keeper could do little but watch Corkery’s follow up hit the back of the net.
Alfie Hennessy’s free levelled it with 10 minutes remaining, and Cahill’s hat-trick got the Magpies back in front. Scores from O’Keefe and Mattie O’Leary got Rangers back to within one, as Midleton went searching for the finishing blow.
Nemo’s Colm Shannon did brilliantly to stop O’Sullivan from a certain goal. The forward came even closer minutes later, though this time his effort rattled off the crossbar.
O’Sullivan finally got another score for his efforts before Charlie McCarthy’s free hit the post and then the crossbar before going over – an almost perfect synopsis of the chaotic and entertaining final.
: J Cahill 3-2 (0-2 f), J O’Sullivan 1-2, L Walsh 1-0, C McCarthy 0-2 f, P Egan, A Hennessy (f), R Nolan 0-1 each.
: M O’Keefe 3-2, M Corkery 1-2, C Randles 0-2, C McCarthy O’Donovan (f), M O’Leary, J Cripps 0-1 each.
: J Sweeney; P Spelman, B Dunlea, C Hogan; J Quill, C Kelly, R McCormack; A Hennessy, F Cahill; C McCarthy, P Egan, J O’Sullivan; L Walsh, J Cahill, C O’Brien.
: R Nolan for C O’Brien (28), C O’Brien for P Spelman, R O’Brien for J Quill (both h-t).
: M Hennessy; S Cronin, D O’Riordan, C Shannon; M O’Leary, D Geary, S O’Sullivan; A Currane, C Sheehan; O Lenehan, M Corkery, C Randles; J Cripps, C McCarthy O’Donovan, M O’Keefe.
: L Hill for J Cripps (36), P Whitnell for C McCarthy O’Donovan (51).
: Andrew Dorgan (Watergrasshill).