Bohemians’ dominion over Under-19s football in Ireland continued as they were crowned National League champions for the second year running.
The Gypsies – who completed the double having won the Enda McGuill Cup in September – saw off the challenge of Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium thanks to a goal from Ali Reghba.
The Ireland Under-19 international scored both goals as Craig Sexton’s side came from behind to beat St Patrick’s Athletic in that cup final at Richmond Park.
And the German-born striker was the difference-maker once more as he scored the only goal shortly before the break as he calmly rounded Hoops keeper Kian Clarke.
The Hoops were tidy in possession throughout while Bohs were more direct, looking to use the blistering pace of Danny Grant and Promise Omochere to feed Reghba.
Their first opportunity came midway through the half when Adam O’Connor was caught dribbling out of his half by Omochere and he released Reghba, but Sean Gleeson made a fine covering tackle.
A mistake from Rovers captain Sean Callan left a hole for Ryan Graydon to run through on goal shortly after and he should have scored, but with just Clarke to beat his shot was weak.
Brandon Kavanagh – one of two regulars, with Aaron Bolger, in the Rovers senior team – teed up Emmanuel Lawal with a deep cross but the winger’s volley was wayward. Kavanagh showed a subtler part of his game to play in Dean Williams soon after and the striker shot across goal but, with captain Mitchell Byrne hesitant, the ball went centimetres wide.
The relentless tempo seemed to have started to drop when Bohs brilliantly took the lead as Omochere slid in Reghba, and the striker feigned before rounding Clarke.
Reghba had a chance to double his tally within minutes of the restart as he was played in on goal but Clarke, who won the title with Bohs last year, was out quickly to deflect his volley clear.
Kavanagh should have had a penalty as he was felled by Mitchell Byrne in the box, and the same player found O’Connor for a header that was spectacularly kept out by the excellent Bohan.
Bohs should have wrapped it up when sub Cristian Magerusan played in Graydon and he rounded Clarke, but the keeper did wonderfully to get back and save as he looked to finish.
Rovers had one final chance in the fifth minute of injury time as Kavanagh lined up a free kick 25 yards out but, as the 1,300 in attendance held their breath, the ball flew agonisingly wide.