Literally no one saw this one coming….
Two pretty good sides playing out an absolute classic in the FAI Youth Cup. Colemanstown started at some pace putting Mervue under pressure from the off. The first real chance of the game came on 5mins as Mulhern found Harry Mitchell on the edge of the box, who connected as he was falling & drilled wide. Jason Rabbitte’s cross found the head of Harry on 14mins but headed straight at the keeper. Mervue’s first chance originated from a corner but Luke Wilbur was well alert in goals. Another whopping save by Wilbur, who had to have seen the ball late, but a super stop resulted, pushing the ball around the post for a corner which was subsequently headed away from danger by Cian Ruane. It was Mervue who drew first blood on 20mins as they had battled more to get into the game. A mix-up between our defence and keeper saw Colemanstown fail to deal with a ball put through by Mervue & their striker was on hand to tap into an empty net. The play was up and down the field for the next 20mins as both sides showed great movement on the ball, created and squandered chances and both keepers were on top of their game. Just before half time, Colemanstown equalised. A long kick out from Wilbur found Mulhern who played Jayo Rabbitte & then into Harry who struck from the edge of the 18’ box into the far corner. It was no more than Harry & his team deserved for tenacity alone. 1-1 at the break.
Mervue pressurised from the restart and after a few bobbling balls in the box, Mervue struck the timberwork within 3 mins with the rebound eventually cleared by Jonah Donnellan. Mervue went ahead 5mins later when a free kick was poorly dealt with and some hesitancy in clearing saw the ball rebound off the shin of Jason Rabbitte & in for an OG. Wilbur made another super stop to keep Colemanstown in the game. Then against the run of play Mervue scored a 3rd as Colemanstown went on the attack which was broken down by Mervue, worked the ball up the field and a through ball saw their striker nip in ahead of Jonah Donnellan before slipping under Wilbur’s body midway through the half. It looked like it might be curtains for the Colemanstown boys but they weren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. For the remainder of the game they showed immense character and bloomin unreal effort, leaving every ounce they had on the field. They forced a few consecutive corners which were expertly delivered by Aironas & Jason Rabbitte got his head to one of them with 15mins to play. Game back on…. With 10 to play without doubt was the best passage of play which all in attendance would have paid an admission fee alone to see. A corner floated in from Aironas was added to by Donnellan & with his back to goal, Mulhern’s mid air overhead bicycle kick was just superb. We have no idea how the keeper saved it. It was one of these saves, you’d call an act of God…. The whole few moments drew gasps from the sizeable crowd & both opposition managers just had to smile at each other at such a spectacular effort and an equally spectacular save. Right at the death Colemanstown forced a couple of corners through Jason Rabbitte, Aironas ( free kick) & Tiarnan Lohan and even with Wilbur making his way from his own goal into the box, there was no way past a resolute Mervue defence. 3-2 to Mervue it ended & heat break for the Colemanstown lads who gave it their all.
These Colemanstown lads were brilliant. They executed Jason & Alan Finn’s tactics to perfection, as well as carved out pretty decent goalscoring opportunities and made the most of their possession. It was an all-round brilliant performance – a performance that should make proud the coaches & the Mams & Dads who were there to witness it….. one of the most entertaining, gripping and heart-stopping encounters for a while. There certainly was no shame in the defeat as we wish the best to the Mervue lads who march on to the next round of the FAI Youth cup.
Squad: Luke Wilbur, Ciaran Keating, Jonah Donnellan, Cian Ruane, Dean Connaire, Tommy Mellody, Tiarnan Proulx, Jason Rabbitte, Ciaran Mulhern, Aironas Kantauskas, Harry Mitchell, Tiarnan Lohan, Jack Jordan, Jack Dillon, Fionn Flattery, Eanna Burke, Kyle Madden, Aaron Comar.