Rovers fall at fi­nal hur­dle

Brave ef­fort from Wick­low side

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT - JAMES NOLAN

IT wasn’t to be for Wick­low Rovers in the Un­der-13 Li­ons Club All-Ire­land Cup fi­nal as a first half Louis Mal­com­son goal was can­celled out by a se­cond half on­slaught at the hands of Tul­lam­ore Town.

The young Rovers side, who have al­ready made claim to the DDSL Gerry Mur­phy Cup this sea­son, got off to a blis­ter­ing start at Da­ly­mount Park, home of League of Ire­land Pre­mier side, Bo­hemian FC.

Os­car Mal­com­son man­aged to find space at the edge of the Tul­lam­ore penalty area, fir­ing a shot to­wards goal.

Tul­lam­ore cus­to­dian Reuben Egan man­aged to stop the ef­fort in its tracks, how­ever, his parry fell into the path of Mal­com­son’s twin brother, Louis, who fol­lowed up to score his 11th goal of the sea­son.

While Rovers man­aged to earn the break­through on the 17th minute mark, Rory Hen­nessy in the Wick­low goal turned out to be the busiest man on the pitch for the re­main­der of the half.

The shot-stop­per prevented a Tul­lam­ore equaliser off the back of ef­forts from Ryan Kenny and Hu­bert Zakrzewski.

How­ever, the Of­faly side’s best op­por­tu­nity to level came shortly be­fore the half-time whis­tle.

Ryan Kenny’s pow­er­ful ef­fort from range struck the Rovers wood­work in what was a heart in mouth mo­ment.

Wick­low made it into the dress­ing room at half-time with a slen­der one-goal ad­van­tage, but it was in the se­cond pe­riod when Tul­lam­ore Town’s at­tack­ing threat re­ally came to the fore­front.

It took them four min­utes after the in­ter­val to level pro­ceed­ings. Agbo Ba­batunde latched onto a long ball from Noah Flynn at the back. The num­ber nine slot­ted the ball past Hen­nessy to break the Wick­low re­sis­tance.

In the 45th minute, Town added a se­cond. Hav­ing been awarded a free-kick from 25 yards, Ryan Kenny blasted the ball into the roof of the net, giv­ing Hen­nessy no chance of pulling off an­other save.

Tul­lam­ore were rid­ing a mas­sive wave of mo­men­tum, seal­ing the ti­tle with a de­ci­sive third goal.

Cian McCon­nell found space in the box be­fore slot­ting the ball past Hen­nessy, into the bot­tom left cor­ner of the Rovers goal.

De­spite the de­feat, Rovers re­main pleased with their achieve­ment of reach­ing an All-Ire­land fi­nal. Man­ager Keith Earls ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment with the re­sult but be­lieves the team will learn from it as they still chase down the league ti­tle.

“Ob­vi­ously we are dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult, but the bet­ter team won on the day. They were the more phys­i­cal team and they han­dled the oc­ca­sion bet­ter than us. Rory Hen­nessy in goal was our man of the match,” said Earls.

“The lads did fan­tas­tic to reach an All-Ire­land fi­nal, pick­ing up some great re­sults along the way. We can be proud of our first sea­son in the DDSL. We have al­ready won the Gerry Mur­phy Cup and now we need to push on for the league,” added Earls.

WICK­LOW ROVERS: 1. Rory Hen­nessy, 2. Mikey Nolan, 3. Ross McCrea, 4. Sam Cul­leton, 5. Jack Noble, 6. Nick McAl­lis­ter, 7. Louis Mal­com­son, 8. Dar­ragh Hef­fer­nan, 9. Os­car Mal­com­son, 10. Alex Sin­not, 11. Jake Nally, 12. Sam Christie, 13. Keelin Darcy, 14. Stephen Gorm­ley, 15. Evan Burke, 16. Lewis Stokes.

TUL­LAM­ORE TOWN: 1. Reuben Egan, 2. Keelyn Con­roy, 3. Ricky Han­lon, 4. Noah Flynn, 5. Jack Daly, 6. Ryan Kenny, 7. Hu­bert Zakrzewski, 8. Jack Done­gan, 9. Agbo Ba­batunde, 10. Conor De­vane, 11. Cian Byrne, 12. Niall Fur­long, 13. Shane Hensey , 14. Luke Guinan, 15. Fran­cis Ade­bowale, 16. Cian McCon­nell.

Wick­low Rovers, ahead of their match against Tul­lam­ore Town.

Wick­low Rovers and Tul­lam­ore take to the field in Da­ly­mount Park.

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