Brilliant Boardman brings Charlie Cahill to Malahide

by Dave Donnelly
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Charlie Cahill Cup final
Malahide United 1
Crumlin United 1
Malahide win 5-4 on penalties

LEVI Boardman was the hero for Malahide United as he equalised before netting the decisive penalty in the shootout as they lifted the Charlie Cahill Cup with victory over Crumlin United.

The north Dublin side became the first team to beat Crumlin in any competition this season as Martin Loughran’s side have seen off all challengers in the league and three cups.

The LSL Sunday Senior pacesetters had won this trophy in each of the last two years and were looking to make it a third successive success in Home Farm’s Whitehall Stadium.

There was little to separate the sides through 120 minutes with normal time ending scoreless.

Tired legs began to offer up more opportunities in extra time and it was Crumlin who took the lead six minutes in.

Liam Brady broke from midfield and met Alan McGreal’s cross with a glancing header past Dylan McNulty to put his side in front.

Crumlin took the advantage into the break but were undone shortly after and it was another substitute who did the damage in Boardman.

Former Dundalk underage striker Jordi Ebanda peeled out to the right and, after wrong-footing Thomas Hyland, he curled in a perfectly-weighted cross. Boardman, who had replaced Jack Traynor early in the game, was completely unmarked in the centre of the goal and he could hardly miss with a header from six yards.

Malahide captain Darren Craven could have even won it for his side with a well-struck shot from distance but Crumlin keeper Mickey Quinn tipped the ball over the bar.

Quinn had been the penalty hero in Crumlin’s 2017 FAI Cup run, saving twice in the 2-1 victory over League of Ireland Wexford and another in the 3-1 defeat to Premier Division champions Dundalk.

It was his opposite number, McNulty, who proved the hero in the shootout as he forced the only miss of the ten spotkicks taken, denying a penalty specialist in Aidan Roche.

John Sullivan, Conor Murphy and Brady were all on target for Crumlin, but the 2018 FAI Intermediate Player of the Year, who recently moved back from Liffey Wanderers, saw his shot saved by McNulty.

Craven, Dylan Cashin, Kieran McGahan and Rob Duggan all found the net for Malahide and, though McGreal scored Crumlin’s fifth penalty, it was left to Boardman to slam home the winning kick.

“It means a lot for the club to win the trophy,” Malahide skipper Darren Craven told Dublin Gazette. “It had been a long time since Malahide have won anything at senior level so to do it with such a young squad and beating probably the best amateur side in the country in the final just made the day even more enjoyable for everyone.

“We knew we would have to beat them at some stage if we were to win anything this season.

“Hopefully we can use the momentum from Sunday to kick on and finish as high as possible in the league.”

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