FOR the second week in succession, there was disappointment for a Mervue United selection as the U17 side followed the Youth team out of a National competition at the semi-final stage.
An injury time header by Sean Heaney gave St Kevin’s Boys a 1-0 win as the visitors gained a merited reward for second half supremacy.
In Michael Byrne Cup action, holders Athenry, Mervue United B and Salthill Devon all qualified for the semi finalS, with just the Corrib Rangers and OLBC game outstanding.
Knocknacarra set up a last four meeting with Oughterard in the Joe Ryan Cup after they defeated Tuam Celtic by 3-1 on Sunday.
Corrib Rangers just about maintained their Premier Division title challenge as an injury time header by Simon Walsh saw them come from two down to defeat West United by 3-2.
FAI U17 CUP
Mervue United 0
St Kevin’s Boys 1
Mervue United were exposed to the harsh realities of life at the top level when their limitations were exposed against a top class Dublin side in this FAI U17 Cup semi final on Saturday evening.
Against a visiting team, who have won every league title at their age group this past five years and are unbeaten to date this season, the home side were just about outclassed all over the park. That they should have lost it two minutes into additional time was cruel as Sean Heaney powerfully headed home a Jason Caffrey free kick that was needlessly conceded out on the sideline.
However, the truth is that the winner was a long time coming. The opening half had a reasonable amount of parity, with chances at either end pretty rare. A Ryan Manning free kick had goalkeeper Jack Brady working for probably the only time in the match on 14 minutes while, at the other end, Kevin’s struck the woodwork twice in the same attack.
Firstly, it was Stephen Confrey who clattered an effort off the crossbar, with Aaron Ashe flashing the rebound off the post. The tempo for the second half was set in the opening minute as the outstanding Robert Carroll took an Evan Shine shot off the line and, 15 minutes later, Carroll denied Shine again.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.