Last gasp Mellody header proves decisive in U16 Cup win

A last-gasp header from Tommy Mellody earned Colemanstown U16s a dramatic 5-4 away Championship Cup win over Loughrea on Saturday. It was a goal feast of entertainment as Colemanstown raced into an early lead through Mellody who got on the end of Ciaran Mulhern’s delivery on the back post on 2mins. Colemanstown were strong in the opening stages with numerous chances. Harry Mitchell volleyed over a delivery from Mellody on the right wing. Mellody himself forced the keeper to stoop low to keep out a free kick & Ciaran Mulhern saw his header saved on the line.  Loughrea rallied and got themselves level on 13mins with a super volley. Colemanstown continued to press and carved several openings.

They were rewarded on 20mins in a nice move. Harry Mitchell’s throw to Jason Rabbitte found Mulhern whose cross into the box was met by Cilly Fahey who finished superbly from close range. 2mins later Loughrea clawed back another goal after a bit of sustained pressure resulted in 3 consecutive corners. A bit of hesitancy following the 3rd corner saw Loughrea pounce on the slack defending to make it 2-2. Rabbitte then saw his powerful header find the side net after a strong run up the flank by Luke Williams & then Harry Mitchell saw his effort parried by the keeper after a good run along the end line as Colemanstown piled on the pressure again. Fionn Flattery had to be alert in goals to gather an awkward bouncing ball. Left back Dean Connaire then tried his luck at goal & Harry had another chance which he drilled well wide.  Then it was the home fans turn for a big cheer as their striker unleashed an unmerciful effort from 35yards to the roof of the net to put Loughrea 3-2 up. Their joy was short lived though as Mulhern drew a good save after a strong run at pace from midfield as the ball was turned around the post for a corner which Mellody whipped in, a goalmouth scramble ensued and the loose ball was slammed to the net by Jason Rabbitte. 3-3 Stalemate at half time.

Colemanstown again dominated the early exchanges of the 2nd half. Mellody had an early chance which he fired wide, hitting the ground with his hands afterwards in disgust. Although Loughrea showed little threat for the first 15mins after the restart, they edged ahead again, although against the run of play with a free kick which they drilled low and hard from the edge of the 18’ box just inside the post under the diving body of Fionn Flattery. Cillian Fahey showed great athleticism as he connected to Ciaran Mulhern’s cross with an overhead kick with his back to goal but his effort went wide. Then a super clean tackle from Luke Williams won the ball back in the middle of the field, and his through ball found Fahey running at pace a full 30 yards into increasingly dangerous territory and with Loughrea’s defenders closing in, he laid off to the inrushing Ciaran Mulhern who slammed home the equaliser with 7 mins left.

A winner looked set to elude both sides but would the bodies be able for extra time given the pace & intensity the entire game was played in. As the match entered the dying stages, Mulhern found Rabbitte whose effort was taken off the goal line as Colemanstown tried their damndest to find a well-deserved winner. Then came the winner which was well worth the wait….. A cross from the right from Mulhern into the box saw the experienced Mellody climb highest to head home what proved to be the winner for Colemanstown in the 78th minute. This was a big win given that Loughrea had a convincing 4-0 league win earlier in the season.  Well done lads as they progress to Round 2 of the Cup campaign.

Squad: Fionn Flattery, Dara Scarry, Cian Ruane, Ciárán Keating, Dean Connaire, Luke Williams, Jason Rabbitte, Ciaran Mulhern, Tommy Mellody, Cillian Fahey, Harry Mitchell, Eanna Burke, Jack Dillon, Jack Jordan, Larry Murrajvos, Jonathan Keane, Jonah Donnellan