Bray Wanderers 6 Finn Harps 1
Thomas Morgan bagged four goals as Bray did an U19 LOI Academy League Tier 2 (North) double over Finn Harps.
Amid horrendous weather at a rain swept Ballycorus, Wanderers ran out 6-1 winners on Sunday afternoon.
It was the Wicklow clubs’ third success over their Donegal opponents since May – having won 5-0 at the same venue in the Enda McGuill Cup while they followed that by recording a 4-0 league victory at Maginn Park last July.
Morgan took his tally to seven goals in those three outings against Harps.
The Green and White’s broke the dead-lock in the 20th minute.
Alex Nolan’s corner was played back to him by Luca Mulhare. A deep delivery to the back post saw Jack Kehoe’s header saved by Irish U17 stopper Oisin Cooney. But Morgan followed up to score off the rebound with a follow up header.
It became 2-0 just four minutes.
Wide right, Chukwu got to the endline. And skipped a tackle to pick out Morgan. He evaded a challenge before lashing to the net from ten-yards.
First team netminder Alex Moody made a rare U19 start. There was nothing he could do in the 27th minute when Hayden Roche diverted Damian Duffy’s free-kick to his own net.
But Wanderers restored their two-goal cushion soon after.
Chukwu led a counter attack down the right wing and passed inside to Morgan. He jinked past a tackle. But Cooney saved. Mulhare gathered but saw his shot blocked before the line. Mulhare won the ball back only to be taken down by Cooney for a penalty in the 33rd minute.
However, over three minutes went by – for treatment to a Bray player then a Harps player – before Morgan converted the spot-kick for his hat-trick.
Due to the downpour, the Seagulls changed their gear and played the second period in all Green. The match officials joined in, switching from black to red gear.
It didn’t stop Bray as they made it 4-1 in the 49th minute.
Leon Ajala broke from his own half. He found Chukwu on the right flank. The winger got to the byline and picked out Morgan who steered in an ten-yard looping header.
The hosts grabbed a fifth score in the 54th minute as Mulhare got on the scoresheet for the first time. He chased down as Cooney cleared – with the ball ricocheting off the attacker back to the open goal.
The win was wrapped up in the 75th minute. Nolan swung over a from the left right footed to the near post were sub Roland Olakanye planted a close range header to the net.
There was still time for a late cameo by U17 player Rhys Knight to make his competitive debut at this level.
Elsewhere in the section, Sligo Rovers defeated Athlone Town 4-1 at the Athlone Town Stadium while Derry City overcame Longford Town 3-2 at Bishopsgate.
The results means Sligo (19 points) moved ahead of Dundalk (18 points) in the table with Bray now in third on 15 points.
All three clubs have played eight times from their scheduled 12 matches.
Bray Wanderers: Alex Moody; Joshua Kerr, Caleb O’Neill, Leon Ajala, Hayden Roche; Jack Kehoe, Max Hennessy; Daniel Chukwu, Thomas Morgan, Alex Nolan; Luca Mulhare.
Subs: Roland Olakanye, Brent Culbert, Dylan Ryan, Rhys Knight, Jamie Molloy.
Finn Harps: Oisin Cooney; Jamie McKinney, Ryan Creevy, Dylan McAteer, Brendan McLaughlin; Reid Kelly; Caoimhin Bonnar, Damian Duffy, Adam Duffy, Max Johnston; Daniel Stokoe.
Subs: Jamie Harris, Ryan Galvin.
Referee: John Hanney. Assistants: Phillip Harrison, Wayne McDonnell.
* Bray are due to face Dundalk next Sunday at Oriel Park.