Youths through to Sean Williams Memorial Cup Final

The U18s had a magnificent win away to Kinsale in the semi-finals of the Sean Williams Memorial Cup on Sunday. There was an Orange Weather Warning in force for coastal regions, manifesting in a near gale force wind blowing straight down the pitch but every one of the Hill players wanted to go ahead with it. So, we rolled the dice – and they promptly blew down the pitch into the top goals!

We were playing with the wind in the 1st half so a halftime lead was a must. We suffered a major blow after 2 minutes when Dion McCormack had to come off with a re-occurrence of an ankle injury, with Michael Quinlivan slotting in up front to replace him. Kinsale seemed to adapt to the conditions better and created a number of half chances, one bringing a decent save from Cian Hogan before the Hill began to assert dominance. Richard Morrison burst into the box and hit the post. The keeper fumbled a Dominik Wojtas freekick but recovered before we could tap the ball home. Ciaran Crowley had a number of efforts off target and suddenly it was half time and still 0-0.

We changed from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1 to try to bring a bit more defensive solidity but were still under the cosh from Kinsales’ long balls and they took the lead after 10 mins of the half when we failed to clear our lines.

It’s hard to describe the resilience and character of the lads from that moment on in the 2nd half. It would have been easy to give up, with the conditions an easy, ready made excuse but they dug deep and equalised within 8 minutes. Michael Quinlivan robbed the centrehalf, who was dawdling on the edge of their area, slotted the ball through for Richard, who drove the ball into the back of the net.

Fortunes flip flopped crazily for the rest of the game. Firstly, Kinsale were reduced to 10 men when their full back was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Richard. Next, we were denied a penalty appeal, when Richard was tripped in the box only for play to go down the other end and see a penalty awarded to Kinsale. The penalty was poor and Cian made a good save. This was followed by an even better save from a header. Everyone watching thought it was in before Cian dived to his left to keep it out. The game was just about in injury time and everyone was moaning about another 30 mins or so in the howling wind and rain when we struck for the winner. A beautiful ball from Seamus Aherne released Richard into the box. He shrugged off the defender and his shot beat the keeper only to flash across the far post. David Cummins was following up, however, and managed to keep it in. He lofted the ball to the back post where Michael was waiting. With keeper and defenders charging at him, he coolly squared the ball for Richard to smash it home and we were in the final!

Please come and support the lads on Thursday at Turner’s Cross, KO 7:30. We’re playing Macroom who had a comfortable 4-0 home victory against Castleview yesterday so all support will be greatly appreciated!

Referee: Alan O Connell

Filed under: Club News, match, report, u18