The Tullamore boys had their complete arsenal on display in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday as they pummelled Mountmellick into submission in this one sided encounter.
CCFL U-19 Cup Quarter Final
Tullamore Town 5
They hit the front within three minutes when Macdarragh O’Neill got on the end of a Ted Conway cross to bundle the ball home from close range.
Five minutes later they had increased their lead when, following good play from Mark Casey, Arron Hensey swung in a right wing cross that was headed home by Conway at the far post.
The home side nearly went further ahead when O’Neill went on a wonderful run through the middle before rounding the keeper, but his shot was taken off the line. He again went close when he swopped passes with Hensey but his effort came back off the crossbar.
Tullamore continued to press and with thirty five minutes gone O’Neill picked out Arron Hensey in the area but his drive came back off the upright with Melia volleying the rebound outside the post.
It was not all one way traffic as Gary Green burst through the middle before firing narrowly wide but, with forty two minutes on the clock, Tullamore increased their lead. Ted Conway picked the ball up wide on the left and cut inside before drilling a fine shot inside the far post.
He nearly added to his tally when he got on the end of a Melia corner but his volley flew outside the post as the interval arrived with the score 3-0 in the home sides favour.
On the resumption Tullamore picked up where they had left off with Dillon Melia playing a lovely ball through to Arron Hensey, but he was crowded out and then Mark Casey played a great cross field pass to Macdarragh O’Neill who picked out Hensey at the far post, but his effort flew narrowly wide.
With fifty five minutes gone the home side were awarded a penalty with Roberto Pedro brilliantly turning O’Neill’s well struck spot kick around the post.
As Mountmellick looked to get back in the game they were frustrated by some wonderful defensive play from Diarmuid Carroll and, with the introduction of Gary Hutchinson and Michael James, Tullamore relentlessly tightened their grip on the game. With sixty five minutes on the clock they went further ahead when Dillon Melia played the ball through to the predatory O’Neill and he skipped around the advancing keeper before placing the ball in the empty net.
With ten minutes remaining Gary Hutchinson played a great ball through to Macdarragh O’Neill and he rifled his shot in off the left post to complete a fine hat-trick. Hutchinson nearly got his name on the scoresheet when his long range effort flew narrowly over as the home side ran out comprehensive winners.
This was a wonderful exhibition of controlled attacking football from a very impressive young side. There were outstanding performances from Diarmuid Carroll, Rory Condron, Mark Casey, Dillon Melia and Ted Conway, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s hat-trick hero, Macdarragh O’Neill.
Tullamore: Patrick Dunican, Matthew Hynes, Diarmuid Carroll, Ross Kinnarney, Rory Condron, Macdarragh O’Neill, Adam Shelly, Mark Casey, Ted Conway, Arron Hensey and Dillon Melia. Subs: Gary Hutchinson and Michael James.