MALAHIDE UNITED…………3 ARDMORE ROVERS………1
By Eamon Scott
EXCELLENT fare at Robswall on Sunday when two youthful sides produced an exciting 90 minutes of O’Neills Leinster Football League cup action with the home side coming from behind to earn a deserved victory.
But things could have been so much different for the men from Bray who took the lead early in the second period through Matthew Hackett and then saw a ball cannon off the crossbar and bounce agonisingly on the line before being cleared to safety. Two-nil might have been a different game but Malahide survived and subsequently came to life with a vengeance.
It was a pivotal moment in the game with Malahide up until then finding it difficult to contain the rampant Garden County youths and that incident ultimately proves key to the outcome of the encounter .
Ardmore, from the Premier Development League in the Leinster Football League were that little bit sharper to the ball in the opening stages and settled better than the north coast side and created a couple of chances but some wayward shooting and fine goalkeeping from Cameron Calder kept the scoresheet blank.
Manager Howard Hopkins of Malahide United admitted that his side rode their luck but once they equalised it was the Gannon Park side who grew in confidence and they grew in stature and belief and by Paddy Kearns full-time whistle there was no doubting who deserved the winners’ laurels.
“We made a couple of changes at the break,” said Hopkins. “In fairness to the guys who came in they helped swing the match our way. It took a while but we finished strongly and that’s a compliment to everyone because we have a big squad and competition for places is healthy and that competitiveness has helped us too.”
This was a game between two evenly matched teams but Malahide earned their luck and goals from Simon Murphy and a brace from the lively Karl Emerson.
Visiting manager Darren Murphy was understandably disappointed but recognised that Malahide were worthy winners in the end. “We had enough players to win this game but we’ve left it behind really. Credit to Malahide, they deserved it in the end, but I think some of our guys were a little rusty an even though we were missing some of our regulars that’s no excuse, we didn’t take the chances that came our way and that’s cost us in the end.”
Both clubs were full of compliments for the Leinster Football League and the provision of development football for their players. “It’s an excellent idea and it helps bridge the gap between schoolboys and junior football.” said Malahide United’s Paul Furey.
“There is such a fall-off in player involvement in their teens that this grade keeps players active in the game and if you can keep them playing you’ve a better chance of them continuing into junior football and that’s got to be welcome.”
MALAHIDE UNITED: Cameron Calder; Pierce Clyne Jake Corclaigh, David Lynch, Thomas Lynch, Kian Hopkins, Simon Murphy, Karl Emerson, Ben Symes, Joe Gaffney, Alex Moore, Oisin Cronin, Matt Copeland, Andrew Furey, Owen White, Ciaran Cross.
ADRMORE ROVERS: Adam Temple; Robert Moran, Simon Doherty, Tom Mooney, Adam Harris, Jamie Downey, Harry O’Toole, Matthew Delaney, Ryan Hanley, Brandon King, Odhran Doyle, Niall Hederman, Stephen CRabb.
REFEREE: Paddy Kearns