Mallow United U12 Boys round of 32 National Cup fixture against Portlaoise was perhaps the biggest game yet in the red and black of Mallow for this group of players under the guidance of coaches Pa O’Riordan and Prince Amechi. The poor weather made conditions difficult but the pitch was in top shape and Mallow got off to the best possible start with a three goal lead after just twenty minutes.
Mallow played some excellent football and quickly gained controlled of the game. The opening goal came after six minutes when a superb pass by Davidson Amechi on the right wing found the feet of Dylan O’Connell who rounded the keeper to score.
When Davidson Amechi was fouled 20 yards from goal after 14 minutes, Adam O’Brien slotted home the resulting free kick hitting hard and low to the bottom right deceiving the Portlaoise keeper and putting Mallow 2-0 ahead.
The Mallow boys were unphased by the heavy rain and a third goal came when Dylan O’Connell was brought down inside the box. Dylan stepped up to take the resulting penalty leaving the keeper with no chance as his shot found the back of the net.
Mallow could have gone four ahead inside the first half when an Adam O’Brien free kick rattled the cross bar after Cormac Fitzgerald was fouled on the edge of the box. The Mallow boys kept any Portlaoise attack at bay with great defensive work from Louie Power, Jack Quill, Cormac Fitzgerald and Keagan O’Sullivan.
Pitch conditions deteriorated in the second half and Portlaoise began to increase the pressure on Mallow. However, the home side matched the visitor’s high tempo with captain Aaron Murphy leading from midfield putting in some great challenges. The Mallow keeper Denjoe O’Riordan was alert to the danger coming off his line to close down the Portlaoise attack.
The introduction of Caleb Crone, Odhran O’Sullivan and Mikie O’Riordan allowed Mallow to regain the upper hand on possession with all three players having a great impact on the game both defensively and in joining the attack.
About ten minutes from time Mallow got a well deserved fourth and final goal of the game. A midfield pass from Mikie O’Riordan found Dylan O’Connell who unselfishly put it through to Aaron Murphy who made no mistake and slotted it home. Final score Mallow United 4 – 0 Portlaoise AFC.
Mallow United would like to commend Portlaoise AFC for their great sportsmanship throughout the fixture bringing positive, friendly and good humoured approach to the game. The U12 coaches would like to thank the club members who had the pitch in such good order for the month of January and say a big thank you to the parents of the Mallow players who organised the tea, sandwiches and other refreshments for everyone after the game. Finally thanks to the support of the U12 Boys kit sponsor O’Learys Garage and Crash Repair http://www.olearysgaragemallow.ie.
Mallow Squad: Denjoe O’Riordan, Louie Power, Cormac Fitzgerald, Jack Quill, Adam O’Brien, Davidson Amechi, Keagan O’Sullivan, Aaron Murphy, Dylan O’Connell, Caleb Crone, Odhran O’Sullivan, Mikie O’Riordan
St. Gobnaits Park, Mallow