UCD have reached the final of the Under 19 Enda McGuill Cup after a 3-0 win over Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds. The students began the game in quick fashion and took the lead on twelve minutes through a Ben Hanrahan header.
The hosts took the game to the students after the break, and Martin Walsh missed a glorious chance to equalise. However UCD then went 2-0 up just before the hour mark when Neil Farrugia scored on the counter. It was an uphill battle for the bitored after that and it led to UCD’s third goal as Sean McDonald scored a superb goal. UCD now await the winners of the second semi-final between Cobh Ramblers and Dundalk.
UCD manager Maciej Tarnogrodzki was delighted to reach the final but feels there’s more in his side, “I think we deserved to win the match but it wasn’t our best performance and we can play much better than last night, especially in the first half. ”
“We took an early lead through Ben Hanrahan with a good instinctive header after a Kevin Coffey cross. We were building from the back all the time in the first half but our penetration could have been a little better. However we were still able to go through the Sligo team a couple of times, and created another very good clear cut chance after some good combination play, and Kevin Coffey’s excellent run behind the Sligo defence.”
“I don’t think there was any real good chance from a Sligo perspective in the first half of the game.”
“We didn’t start the second half very well and for 10 minutes I felt Sligo were pushing for an equaliser, and had one very good chance. We were dangerous on the counter attack in that period though, and managed to finish one of those with a quality finish by Neil Farrugia.”
“I think after that we controlled the game and created some very good chances from the back into the final third.”
“The third goal we scored was of very high quality- it was some very composed interchange of passing in the Sligo penalty box, and Neil Farrugia found himself in a good position to have a shot, but he unselfishly passed the ball to Sean McDonald who finished with great composure, and the chip over the keeper that not many strikers in any football league can do when they find themselves in that situation.”
“Overall we are happy to get to the final next month but at the moment our focus is on the league. Our next game is away to Wexford and we’ll start preparing for that match as we have couple of areas to improve on.”
For Sligo Rovers boss Brian Dorrian it’s a case of back to league action at the weekend after the disappointment, “Yeah, we started the game brightly and had couple of half chances. UCD scored after 10 minutes from a throw in, the lad clipped the ball over our keeper.”
“We again created some chances as did they. At the start of the second half we had a great chance to equalise from Martin Walsh, but his header just cleared the bar.”
“We were pressing them and they caught us on the counter attack for their second and the same again for their third.”
“Listen, take nothing away from them they are a good team, well set up with good players. If I’m honest I don’t think we played as well as we have been, but that’s football and we get back to training on Thursday as we have a massive game against Finn Harps on Sunday in the league. Hopefully our lads show a good reaction after tonight’s defeat.”