U15 Michael Hayes Cup Semi Final Match Report – St. Patrick’s Athletic 4 Bray Wanderers 3

St. Patrick’s Athletic 4

Bray Wanderers 3

Bray’s brave bid to reach an historic EA SPORTS U15 Michael Hayes Cup final ended in an agonising seven-goal thriller defeat.

St. Pat’s won out 4-3 in a fantastic Semi Final game at Richmond Park on Wednesday evening to set up a decider with Shamrock Rovers.

The Saint’s led 1-0 after the opening period. But Wanderers rallied to go in 2-1 up after the hour.

But the Dubliner’s struck three times in the final third of action before the visitors pulled one back deep into stoppage time.

A remarkable fact from the last four fixture was that an astonishing 22 minutes of time added on was played over the three periods totalling 90 minutes.

The Seagulls started well with Kian Dowling shooting just off target in the fifth minute while Billy O’Neill’s sixth minute penalty appeal when challenging goalkeeper Luke Cullen went unanswered.

The hosts took full advantage in the seventh minute.

Michael Noonan broke free off the left flank and squared from the endline were Samuel Rooney scored with a first time left footed finish from ten-yards.

The Inchicore outfit failed to capitalise on further chances as Noonan (10 and 24) as well as Niall Sullivan (25) all shot wide.

But the Green and White’s turned the game around in the second third.

Ryan Bell Mihaila’s 32nd minute through ball down the right channel saw O’Neill get clear only to be brought down in the box by Rafel Egbulefu. Sean Hennelly converted the resulting penalty.

Bray then hit the front in the 47th minute.

Dowling’s free into the penalty area wide right wasn’t dealt with. O’Neill pounced on attempted clearance and slotted low into the far left corner of the net from ten-yards.

A vital on the line smother by reserve custodian Bobby Kelly to deny Hennelly 15 seconds in the final third proved crucial as the hosts comeback started in the 66th minute.

Billy Canny slipped in Egbulefu in off the right of the box. But his shot was blocked. However, the rebound fell to Canny who flashed a drive to the roof of the net from 12-yards.

It then became 3-2 three minutes later.

Canny again weaved in off the right wing to shoot. Alex Forde made a parried save. The looping ball dropped in the six-yard area were Harry Leonard swivelled and found the top left hand corner with a left footed effort.

St. Pat’s made it 4-2 in the 84th minute.

Canny again ran infield off the right win. His pass set up Max McLaughlin whose low attempt went off the foot of the far left upright.

But the Wicklow side rallied and pulled one back in the eighth minute of injury time.

O’Neill chased and won possession of the ball form the opposition in the home teams’ D. He evaded two defenders before driving in low from the edge of the box.

St. Patrick’s Athletic: Luke Cullen; Billy Canny, Rafel Egbulefu, Sam Steward, Sam Kierans; Niall Sullivan, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Harry Leonard, Max McLaughlin; Michael Noonan, Samuel Rooney.

Subs: Emmanuel Mensah, Cian Doyle, Dan Costello, Billy Hayes, Daniel Noonan, Joseph Byrne, Bobby Kelly.

Bray Wanderers: Alex Forde; Ryan Bell Mihaila, Max Free, Noah Byrne, Darragh Sherlock; Jake Fulton, Joshua O’Leary; Sean Hennelly, Kian Dowling, Cristiano Bramley; Billy O’Neill.

Subs: James Seberry, Callum Kenna, Evan Lynch, Sean Howard, Tadhg Worthington, Adam Keene, Kai McSwiggan.

Referee: Derek Gallagher. Assistants: Derek Carey, David Flusk.

Pictures: Ethan Finnerty.

* Bray return U15 LOI Academy Phase 2 Tier Two (North) on Sunday (October 15) when they travel to Sligo Rovers. Kick-off at the Showgrounds (Astro Turf) is at 1.00pm.

Goal scorers Billy O’Neill (2) and Sean Hennelly.