MALAHIDE United were crowned the Under-12 SFAI cup winners after a 1-0 victory over Corinthians Boys in Whitehall last Saturday afternoon.
The playing surface at the Home Farm ground was immaculate as both sides lined up to face one another, cheered by the large set of enthusiastic supporters in attendance.
Both sides tested one another in the opening ten minutes, with Malahide forwards Mark Duggan and Jack Moylan looking particularly impressive. The latter forced a good save from Corinthians’ keeper Richard Lombard with five minutes played, after he did well to make space inside the box and shoot from a difficult angle.
United took the lead midway through the first half, after an attack from the Cork side had broken down.
Malahide played the ball through the centre of the midfield, captain Luke Mooney linking up with Duggan, who in turn played through Sean Guiden after he spotted the winger’s run.
Guiden took one touch and coolly slotted the ball past the outstretched leg of Lombard, to spark scenes of celebrations amongst United’s players and supporters alike.
The Cork side went in search of an equaliser for the reminder of the first half, but the Malahide back line showed determination and resolve.
They broke down the Corinthians attack, led by the lively pair of Fionn Molloy and Adam Idah, with vital challenges from United centre backs Cian Trehy and Cormac Burke intercepting them at every opportunity.
Towards the end of the half, the Dublin side nearly lost their lead, but keeper Simon Murphy got a vital touch to deflect Idah’s shot out for corner from what looked certain to be the equalising goal.
In the second half, United held their shape and showed maturity beyond their years.
A resilient Corinthians continued to attack down the flanks with Molloy and Leo Bannon, but found the full-back pairing of Daire Nally and Sean Gibson to be in inspired form, allowing no opportunity for Idah to be played through.
Both sides made changes to their personnel as the match drew to a close and, with only minutes to spare, United almost saw all their good work undone, when a long ball over the top was picked up by David Fox, who was unmarked inside the box. However, his shot was hit well wide.
The North Dublin side almost put the game beyond doubt in the final minute, when Moylan unselfishly played a square ball to his teammate Keith Ennis, who was unlucky not to finish, but the referee blew the final whistle to earn Malahide United a well deserved victory.