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SAINTS JUST MAKE IT TO THE DECIDER

SSE AIRTRICITY NATIONAL UNDER 19 LEAGUE

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC..0     WATERFORD FC..0

Needing either a draw or a win to qualify for the SSE Airtricity
National Under 19 League decider St Patrick’s Athletic battled their
way to a hard earned scoreless draw with fellow contenders and current
holders Waterford FC at Richmond Park.

By JOHN HUDSON

It was a tight affair throughout and both sides might have snatched a
winner although in fairness clear cut chances were very limited.

Waterford looked the more likely to open the scoring in the first half
and Niall O’Keeffe’s well placed free kicks gave the home defence
plenty to deal with.

Darragh Power connected with one of them to head just over Josh
Keeley’s crossbar.

The closest they came to scoring was on the half hour when Alex Phelan
was given a clear run on goal but Keeley saved Pats by rushing off his
line to clear the danger.

At the other end Brendan Kirwan matched  Keeley by diving low to
smother a Kyle Robinson close range finish after Darragh Burns low
cross had set up a perfect chance for St Pats to go ahead.

The Saints had the better of things for the early part of the second
half as Waterford appeared to drift out of the game but they failed to
grab what would have been an insurance goal.

Jamie Whelan’s sharp turn and shot from close in sailed just outside
the upright and further efforts from Ben McCormack, Robinson and a
Burns free were all dealt with by Kirwan.

Eventually Waterford found their rhythm again and Phelan tested Keeley
with a close range shot. While O’Keeffe saw his 30 yard free kick
pushed away by the home ‘keeper but luckily for Pat’s just past the
head of the incoming Tega Agberhiere.

Last season’s champions  who needed a win to qualify for another
chance to retain their title nearly pulled it off in the closing
minutes when Jamie Holden struck the post from Phelan’s cross and
Keeley just managed to hold on to the rebound.

Unfortunately while St Pat’s were relieved to make it to the final
with Bohemians on Tuesday next at the UCD Bowl (7.30) the game ended
on a low note for them as defender Cian O’Malley will miss the decider
after he picked up a rather harsh second yellow card for what the
referee appeared to judge was deliberate time wasting as he was
about to take a throw in.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Josh Keeley; Daniel Dobbin, Cian O’Malley,
Kevin O’Reilly, Kian Corbally; Jamie Whelan, Kyle Conway; Eoin
O’Neill, Ben McCormack; Darragh Burns; Kyle Robinson. Subs: Andy Spain (for O’Reilly 53), Sean Madden (for Whelan 61), Success Edogun (for O’Neill 75). Not used: Cian Kelly, Sean Molloy.

WATERFORD FC: Brendan Kirwan; Darragh Power, Greg Waters, Oisin
Griffin, Cian Browne; Niall O’Keeffe, Tega Agberhiere, Graham
O’Reilly; Alex Phelan, Cameron Power; Mike Nzongong. Subs: Killian Griffin (for O Griffin 32), Jamie Holden (for Browne 62). Not used: Paul Omotosho, Ivan Homoki, Josh Murphy, Jamie Brazil,
Conor Cummins.

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