The “Partners” 13’s overcome a Top Finn Harps Side.
Two superb 2nd half strikes from substitute Zachary Demamen proved to be the difference between the Monaghan United / Cavan FP under 13’s and a very strong Finn Harps side in a trilling SSE Airtricity National League Group 1 encounter in Cootehill on Saturday afternoon. Played in perfect conditions, it was obvious from the opening exchanges that these 2 sides had come to play football. The hosts had come into the match on the back of a narrow 1 – 0 win away to Longford Town FC, while their opponents were looking to bounce back from a 3 – 2 defeat away to table-toppers Mayo SL in their previous outing. Under the tutelage of Finn Harps Legend Kevin McHugh, the visitors like to play an expansive style of football which suited the hosts. The first sight of goal for the “Partners” came from Jack Coombes-Morris who’d linked up well with Matthew Carolan but his long range strike was watched all the way by Shane Adair in the Harps goals. Finn Harps were always a threat going forward and striker Shaun Patton is in good goal-scoring form at the moment. His link-up play with the impressive Aaron McLaughlin meant that the home pairing of Captain Luke Povall and Daniel Kelly were constantly being asked questions. Adam Mullins for the “Partners” was having great joy down the right hand flank and also opened the scoring in the 16th minute but his effort found the side netting. Finn Harps rattled Thomas Brady’s crossbar 2 minutes later with a rising shot from the edge of the area by Adam McDaid after good approach work from Tiernan McGinty. The introduction of Matthew Finn for Carolan in the 25th minute gave Finn Harps a different type of threat to deal with as he drove forward at pace at every opportunity. His driving run and cross into the area in the 28th minute just eluded Mullins at the far post for a tap-in. It was Finn Harps who got on the scoresheet first in the 34th minute after a series of missed tackles in midfield allowed Patton to get in behind the home defence and as Kelly and Brady tried to narrow the angle, the tall striker smashed the ball to the roof of the net beyond Brady’s reach. To their credit, these young “Partners” are full of spirit and responded within a minute. The midfield pairing of Ben Tully and Luke Allison drove their team forward from the restart and this resulted in the equaliser. A weaving run by Coombes-Morris resulted in a free-kick some 25 yards from goal, in a central position. Finn thundered the ball goal-wards from the free and Adair could only parry it back out into the path of Povall who steered his shot into the bottom corner. Sean Og Teevan was having a tremendous match marshalling the very dangerous McGinty and also looking to get forward to support Caolain Clerkin on the left wing as much as much as possible.The half finished with both sides looking to gain the advantage but with no further scores.
Half-Time: MUCFP u13’s 1 Finn Harps FC 1.
Ben Smith was introduced for Clerkin during the interval as the “Patners” rejigged their formation with the versatile Jamie McCaughey going out on the left flank, he was replaced shortly after by Conor Burns as the home side again looked to freshen things up. The “Partners” had the slight better of things in the opening stages of the 2nd period and forced the Harps defenders to concede several corners. It was from one of these in the 65th minute that Kelly cushioned a volley into the roof of the Harps net to give the “Partners” the lead. Eanna Owen Carolan replaced Mullins moments later. Finn Harps responded again as they looked to restore parity again. Patton was always dangerous and the introduction of Mark Doherty added a new threat on the Cavan / Monaghan goals where Jack Kierans – McArdle had replaced Brady. The 2 Harps players combined in the 70th minute with Patton’s low shot nestling into the bottom corner despite Kierans – McArdle’s desperate dive to keep it out. Harps piled on the pressure looking to gain all 3 points but it was the “Partners” super sub Zachary Demamen, who’d came in for Allison in the 68th minute, who would settle the tie. In the 73rd minute he picked up a loose ball just outside his own penalty area before setting off on a lung bursting run that brought to within 30 yards of the Harps goal before he unleashed an unstoppable shot high into Adair’s net to regain the lead for the “Partners”. Again to their credit Finn Harps pressed forward looking for another equaliser but were caught again on the counter-attack when Tully won possession just inside his own half before delivering a defence splitting pace in behind Harps Martin Coyle and as Adair raced off his line Demaman flicked the ball over him and into the unguarded net to scenes of joy from his team-mates.
Final Score: MUCFP u13’s 4 Finn Harps FC u13’s 2.
Team: T. Brady, J. McCaughey, L. Povall, D. Kelly, S. Og Teevan, B. Tully, L. Allison, A. Mullins, J. Coombes-Morris, M. Carolan and C. Clerkin.
Subs: M. Finn for Carolan, B. Smith for Clerkin, C. Burns for McCaughey, E.O. Carolan for Mullins, J. Kierans – McArdle for Brady and Z. Demaman for Allison.
Another tremendous advertisement for this League with both sides playing some fantastic attacking football right to the end. Next up for these young Cavan and Monaghan lads is a renewed acquaintance with some old foes the Mayo Schoolboys / Girls League next Saturday in John Sherlock Park, Cootehill with a 2pm kick-off. Why not come out and support these lads on this National stage.