26 April 2023

~5 minutes read

SOCCER: Christian Brothers Cork 1-1 Merlin College Galway (CBC win 5-4 on penalties – FAI Schools Minor Boys National Cup Semi-Final)

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SOCCER: Christian Brothers Cork 1-1 Merlin College Galway (CBC win 5-4 on penalties – FAI Schools Minor Boys National Cup Semi-Final)

Merlin College Galway suffered an agonising sudden death defeat to Christian Brothers, Cork on Tuesday (25th April) in the FAI Schools Minor Boys National Cup semi-final.

Jack Sweeney’s equaliser three minutes into injury time forced extra-time for the Galway school but it remained 1-1.  CBC won 5-4 after seven penalties each.


Michael Scott was the hero for Christian Brothers College, Cork as they overcame a talented Merlin College in sudden death penalties as he held his nerve to convert following a 1-1 draw after extra time in the FAI Schools Minor Boys National Cup Semi Final in Fairview Rangers AFC this afternoon (April 25)

Both Dylan Kemp and Harry Walsh were exceptional between the sticks for their respective schools during the match and featured heavily in the drama packed conclusion with the dreaded penalty shoot-out to decide the winner. 

After Harry Walsh saved two penalties, the calm, cool and collected Michael Scott ensured their ticket to the National Cup Final after the second sudden death penalty was duly converted for the Cork side to win out 5-4 on spot-kicks.

Merlin’s first three penalties were scored through Michael Gavajuc, Tomiwa Iofinmakin and Qudus Adelanwa as was CBC’s first two with Darragh Morley and Ben Philips slotting home but CBC’s third from the boot of Sean Madi was saved well by Kemp.

More drama as Merlin’s fourth kick from Captain Fantastic Jack Sweeney was saved by Walsh and Jan Dziedzina’s subsequent effort was put in the back of the net, leaving it level pegging at three apiece with four penalties taken.

Galway goalkeeper Dylan Kemp netted Merlin College’s fifth while Cork’s Donal O’Connor was also successful. Four all with sudden death penalties to follow.

The first of the sudden death penalties were proving too much as Merlin College star Lee Lydon saw his effort saved by Walsh while Cork’s Liam Cregan also saw Kemp keep his effort out.

Ugnis Salcius was unsuccessful with the second sudden death penalty for Merlin College as substitute Michael Scott held his nerve to slot home for a 5-4 win to Christian Brothers College of Cork.  

The Munster Champions got the perfect start to proceedings when Darragh MORLEY connected with a through ball from Aidan O’Shea as the youngster converted perfectly to the left of the diving Dylan Kemp.

The Cork students held that slight lead into the half-time interval.

The momentum seemed to be with Merlin College in the second half as CBC were under the cosh for much of this time.

The best of the Galway chances came late on.

With just over ten minutes remaining, Jack Sweeney’s set piece from 25 yards out forced a brilliant save from Harry Walsh as he palmed the ball over his upright.

Lee Lydon had a wonderful opportunity to equalise three minutes from time but his boot sliced the ball wide from inside the six yard line.

However, Merlin College’s endeavours were rewarded with the equaliser three minutes into additional time as Jack Sweeney crafted a high ball to see past Walsh to take the game to extra-time.

Again, Sweeney was showing promise as he chipped the keeper from outside his box only for the ball to trickle past the far post with two minutes of extra-time played.

Qudus Adelanwa had two brilliant chances to take the lead with four minutes of the first half remaining. His first effort, a snap-shot was destined for the top bin but Harry Walsh got fingertips to the ball to see it out while Adelanwa made a darting run through the Cork defence moments later but his strike was just wide of the post.

It reminded one apiece at the interval.

The best chance of the second period, fell to Ben Philips with five minutes played. His effort agonising hitting off the crossbar.

CBC defence alongside the talented Walsh were exceptional to deal with the Merlin College onslaught but neither side could find the match winner with the shoot-out deciding their faith.

The Cork lads will now await the winners of the other semi-final which sees Marist College, Athlone line out against Carndonagh Community School. The fixture was scheduled for this Thursday but the Athlone Captain Dan Costello is on International duty this week with the Republic of Ireland Under 15s so they’ll now play on Friday, May 5 in Monaghan United FC.

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS COLLEGE, CORK | Harry Walsh, Liam Lynch, Elliott Quinn, Cathal Walsh, Donal O’Connor ©, James Costello (Ben Herlihy 27), Darragh Morley (Michael Scott 23), Tom McGrath, Liam Cregan, Aidan O’Shea, Ben Philips.

SUBS NOT USED | Shane Kavanagh, Donal Barry, Rory Cullinane, Finn Conway, Seán O’Se, Larry Butler

TEACHER | Stephen Hogan COACHES | Tim Mawe, Rory Murphy

MERLIN COLLEGE, GALWAY | Dylan Kemp, Jayden Ukaga, Jan Dziedzina, Ugnis Salcius, Dan Bivol, Michael Gavajuc, Lee Lydon, Tomiwa Lofinmakin, Jack Sweeney ©, Qudus Adelanwa, Sean Madi (Rhys Caffery 30).

SUBS NOT USED | Brayden Mazanba, Enoch Adediji, Leon Carroll, Jakob Stec, Bartek Wawruch, Nathan Lydon, Kacper Zlobowicz, Daniel Adediji.

TEACHERS | Alan O’Dowd, Gareth Freaney

MATCH OFFICIAL | Colm Walsh (Limerick)

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