Match details below
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|Man of Match: Thomas O'Connor|
Mayfield 0 College Corinthians 2
Leaders College Corinthians strengthened their position at the top of the table in Division One of the Errea Sports AUL U17 League with a 2-0 away over Mayfield.
Corinthians are close to finishing their campaign but will have to wait and see if either Maymount Celtic or Springfield, both well behind in their fixtures, can bridge the gap.
Corinthians scored at the end of a lack lustre first half and then early in the second. Mayfield played well enough in patches of the first half and Corinthians keeper Thomas O’Connor made a couple of outstanding saves that earned him the Echo Man of the Match Award.
The losers fought ‘til the end and indeed played their best passing football in the closing stages but just couldn't find a way through a solid defence that had Mark O’Donovan and Graham O’Halloran in fine form.
The opening exchanges were tame enough. Passing was good on both sides but the telling final ball was missing. Corinthians manager Roy O’Donovan was getting worried: “Pick up the pace. We’re strolling,“ he yelled at the end of the first quarter. Both number sevens, Colin O’Driscoll for Mayfield and Ronan Stanton for the winners, were prominent at this point and, unfortunately for Mayfield, they lost O’Driscoll when he picked up an injury in the 25th minute.
Seconds earlier, Mayfield had the first dangerous shot of the game. Then Trevor Boyd hit a smashing volley off a cross by David O’Donoghue but keeper O’Connor reacted magnificently, first parrying the rising shot and then gathering it in out of harm’s way.
O’Connor made an astonishing save in the 28th minute, again from Boyd. The shot took a deflection and threatened to go in over the slightly advanced keeper. O’Connor back-pedalled and pushed the dropping ball onto the bar and then reacted well again to prevent Stephen McGee from profiting from the rebound.
Corinthians weren’t doing much going forward. They did threaten occasionally. In the 36th minute, after a Stanton pull back, the busy Chris Madden got in an 18-yard shot but it was too high. Better luck for Stanton in the 44th minute. Then home keeper James Kirby clashed with Alan Barry as he tried to control a high hopping ball. Referee Tony Murphy awarded the spotter and Stanton converted expertly.
And Corinthians doubled their advantage in the third minute of the second half. A pass by Graham O’Halloran seemed to miss its intended target but fell well for Brendan Spillane who directed the ball well wide of keeper Kirby and just inside the post. Two minutes later, Spillane gave a return pass to Madden but his shot was off target.
Mayfield’s Stephen McGee used his pace to good effect in the 54th minute, getting in behind the defence to fire a diagonal shot but keeper O’Connor again showed his class. Corinthians were trying hard to finish off the contest but didn't. They came close enough in the 61st minute. Robert Rose played a through ball to Spillane and he laid it back to Keith Donnellan but the shot spun wide.
Midway through, Corinthians quickly cleared a Mayfield free and attacked. Spillane and Stanton combined to get the ball into the danger area but the finish was lacking and then the Mayfield keeper reacted well to save when Dave Kilcummins got in on the end of a Spillane cross.
Corinthians manager O’Donovan knew that two goals was a dangerous lead, particularly with Mayfield trying hard to the end. The home side though wasn’t creating the chances and it was more likely that a goal would come at the other end.
In the 78th minute, Stanton's snap shot off a Madden cross flew over. It looked as if Corinthians would get a third in the final minute when Rose showed great control in the box before firing past Kirby but also wide of the target. Still, Rose and company had done enough and will be in good form for their trip to challengers Springfield next Saturday.
The ECHO Man of the Match Award to keeper O’Connor was well received and manager O’Donovan described him as the best keeper in the league.
Mayfield: James Kirby, David O’Donoghue, Alan Monaher, Edward Scanlon, Johnny Buckley, Trevor Boyd, Colin O’Driscoll, Stephen McGee, Killian Byrne, Tom Murphy and Barry Quirke. Subs: Paul Martin for O’Driscoll (25, injured) and Ger Twomey for Murphy (69, injured).
College Corinthians: Thomas O’Connor, Richie Cronin, Graham O’Halloran, Mark O’Donovan, Alan Barry, Dave Kilcummins, Ronan Stanton, Keith Donnellan, Robert Rose, Brendan Spillane and Chris Madden. Subs used: Johnny Lane and James Kenny for Kilcummins and Spillane (both 76), Denis O'Mahony for Cronin (80, injured) and Michael Burke for Stanton (86).
Referee: Tony Murphy.