Despite strong performance, United U19s shaded in final

Liam Murray of Galway United and Carl Lennox of Shamrock Rovers during the EA SPORTS MU19 LOI Enda McGuill Cup match between Galway United and Shamrock Rovers at Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway.
Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Liam Murray of Galway United and Carl Lennox of Shamrock Rovers during the EA SPORTS MU19 LOI Enda McGuill Cup match between Galway United and Shamrock Rovers at Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Galway United U19 1

Shamrock Rovers U19 2

Galway United succumbed to Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Under-19 Enda McGuill Cup Final in Eamonn Deacy Park coming up just short against illustrious Dublin opponents.

A couple of clinical finishes from the Tallaght side ultimately proved the difference. United played lots of the football in between. However, they were always chasing the game.

A difficult task was compounded early with United enduring a disastrous start, finding themselves 1-0 down inside three minutes.

A long-ball from the left-back position caught some defenders out of position and evaded the cover. The ball bounced to Daniel Bergin who somehow found time to take a touch and slot home.

The United youngsters responded well to the setback. Gradi Lomboto and Gerard O’ Riordan both had purposeful efforts on the Rovers goal. Steven Healy was gaining control in the midfield and having a big influence on the tie.

After he had headed over earlier, Lomboto fizzed a great effort just past the post from the edge of the box midway through the half.

United continued to shade the early stages but Rovers, missing some key players who were in senior action in Cork, won plenty of set-pieces around the middle third. They came close too from a corner when Carl Lennox’s header flashed ominously across the goal.

There was plenty of threat from United, particularly from Aaron Neary and Mikey McCullagh on the right, but little to worry Toms Leitis whose only save of the first half was from a speculative O’ Riordan effort.

In the other goal, Kieran McDonagh made a strong save from Bergin just before the hour mark. Cian Curtis flashed a dangerous effort just over a minute later as Rovers pushed for a second after withstanding some pressure from the home side early in the second half.

The same two combined for the second in the 62nd minute. A ball from John O’ Sullivan pushed Bergin wide on the right. He collected and swung in a sweet cross for Curtis who rose well and glanced confidently to the corner of the net.

The introduction of Brian Cunningham added some impetus to the United attack. United pushed to get themselves back in the contest but were nearly finished off when Bergin’s snapshot spun just wide after good hold-up play from substitute Onesime Tembe.

The home team never gave up, and substitute Kyle Fitzgerald gave his side a late lifeline when he pounced on a loose ball in the Rovers box and found the bottom corner of the net.

There was a late flurry of excitement and United searched for a late equaliser but ultimately it was too late as a brave effort from the Galway boys came up just short against a quality Rovers side.

Galway United: McDonagh; Neary, Keady (Thiam 87 ), Murray, O’ Malley (M O’ Halloran 74 ); McCullagh, A O’ Halloran, Healy, O’ Riordan, Lomboto (Fitzgerald 74 ); Smyth (Cunningham 63 )

Shamrock Rovers: Leitis; Condron, Lennox, Abada, C O’ Sullivan; O Jakas (Dignam 88 ), Tetteh (Tembe 45 ), Turley, J O’ Sullivan, Curtis; Bergin (Corish 88 )

 

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