FAI SSE Airtricity Under 15 League Group 1
Shamrock Rovers 0-0 Finn Harps
Pretty it most certainly was not but effective it was and the Hoops this evening qualified for the semi-final of the Under 15 National Cup by virtue of a hard-earned draw at Roadstone. No matter what happens in the final game tomorrow between Bohs and Limerick the Dalymount Park outfit will join the Hoops in the semis as they are guaranteed to finish ahead of Harps.
Despite the dearth of goals, the first half of this game saw no shortage of goalmouth incidents and it is a wonder that the game finished nil-all. The highlights for the Hoops in the first half saw Harps’ keeper Patrick McGarvey make a close-range save from Kyle O’Connor with the keeper recovering fast to deny Sinclair Armstrong who came thundering in from the opposite side when the ball broke loose in the box.
McGarvey also made a fine save from Conan Noonan in the 20th minute and his opposite number in goal at the other end, Killian Cahill made a great save from Daniel Gildea coming up to half time.
Cahill was the busier of the two keepers throughout the second half as the Hoops played deep perhaps in the knowledge that a point was all they needed. They invited a lot of trouble upon themselves though and only a well-timed intervention by centre half Oisin Hand in the 48th minute, when he took the ball off the line, saved them from going behind. Cahill made a decisive save from Daryl Porter in the 75th minute.
Next week is a free week so the Hoops probably won’t rest as they will learn on Monday who they will face in the semi-finals which will be played in a fortnight. The journey back to Donegal is a long one and at least one player on the Harps team bus going home tonight will take the opportunity to sleep. Goalkeeper Patrick Garvey travelled this morning from Dunloe and that is some distance. That is what you call true dedication.
Shamrock Rovers: 1. Killian Cahill, 2. Matthew Scott, 3. Jamie Callaghan, 4. Oisin Hand, 5. Adam Wells, 6. Evan Caffrey, 7. Roland Banya, 8. James Harold, 9. Sinclair Armstrong, 10. Kyle O’Connor, 11. Conan Noonan.
Subs: 14, Kevin Platon (for Hand 58 minutes), 15. Victory Aibange, 16. Nathan Anyanwu (for Banya 63 mins), 17. Charlie Gallagher, 18. Sami Clarke, 25. Kian Moore.
Report and photos here by Robert Goggins