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REYNOLDS THE LOCAL HERO AS MAYNOOTH CLAIM UNIVERISITIES’ HARDING CUP TITLE

NUI GALWAY… 1  MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY…. 3

By John Hudson

LOCAL lad Jack Reynolds returned to his home patch to play a major role in Maynooth University capturing the Irish Universities Harding Cup for the first time since 2012 with a deserved 3-1 victory over NUI Galway at Athlone Town Stadium.

Reynolds a first year student at Maynooth hails from just outside Athlone and is part of Martin Russell’s Athlone Town squad for the coming SSE Airtricity League season also picked up the Player of the Match award.

JACK REYNOLDS OPENS THE SCORING FOR MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY

Maynooth the beaten finalists in the 2019-20 competition at Queens University Belfast went ahead just over the quarter hour mark after speedy winger Gerald Okeguale and then Sam Barnes had gone close to opening the score.

Gerard O’Connor fired in a shot that goalkeeper Lee Jennings did well to keep out.

The ball was gathered by Jack Reynolds inside the box, he cooly steadied himself and struck a low drive past Jennings for the opener and the winger’s third goal following his brace in Tuesday’s qualifiers.

Galway were dealt a further blow midway through the half when Jack McCarthy picked up an injury and was replaced by Aaron Dossen.

Dossen marked his mark quickly and provided the opening for the Galway equaliser after good work on the left saw him deliver a inviting low cross into the Maynooth goalmouth and Robert Silke was on hand to beat Sean Martin with a sweet left footed finish.

Silke was also added to his total after claiming three goals in the earlier qualifiers.

ROBERT SILKE EQUALISES FOR NUI GALWAY

A Victor Udeze header that went over came close to doubling the Galway lead before Maynooth struck again with a second minutes before the break.

Reynolds wide on the left was given a clear run into the Galway box and when his fiercely struck effort wasn’t held by Jennings Gerard O’Connor was on hand to hammer the ball to the roof of the net.

O’Connor might have had a second minutes later but this time Jennings was able to hold the header.

The tempo of the game dropped considerably in the second half and there were few chances created.

But it was Reynolds who put the seal on the Maynooth victory with five minutes remaining.

A quick throw-in on the right saw the tricky Maynooth winger pick up the ball and step inside full back Darragh O’Shea to go on and finally toe poke the ball past Jennings.

REYNOLDS SLIPS HOME MAYNOOTH’S THIRD GOAL

Player of the Match: Jack Reynolds (Maynooth University)

NUI GALWAY: Lee Jennings; Aaron Neary, Eoin Dempsey, Daniel McComiskey, Dean O’Shea; Gonzalo Esqueva, Alex Rogers; Tom McSweeney, Jack McCarthy, Robert Silke; Victor Udeze. Subs: Aaron Dossen (for McCarthy 25), Richie Hunter (Rogers 62) not used Jack Casey, Dominic Matel.

MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY: Sean Martin; Aran O’Brien, Ogaze Irhue, Paul Kiely; Suttan Adenekan, Job Bondo; Gerald Okeguale, Sam Barnes, Jack Reynolds; Gerard O’Connor. Subs: Luke Neville (for Adenekan 65), Emmanuel Gyamfi (for Kiely 73), Joe McBride (for Okeguale 79), not used Fortune Obeye, David Boyle, Lord Aguafong, Josh Akanji.

Referee: Dean Stenson. Assistants: Martin Hachett, Paul Tone.

Fourth Official: Damien McCormack.

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