Goalscorers Darragh Ellison, Joel Bradley Walsh and Luke Rudden with Joel's little brother Kael
The Finn Harps U17s remain on course to do a national double after an excellent 3-1 win over Galway Utd at Eamonn Deacy Park on Sunday.
Galway United 1-3 Finn Harps U17s
Declan Boyle’s boys put themselves in a very strong position in the National League semi-final by scoring twice in the first half courtesy of Joel Bradley Walsh and captain Darragh Ellison.
Carndonagh lad Luke Rudden nipped in for a killer third in the closing stages before Galway grabbed a late consolation goal. Harps will now have home advantage when they take on Shamrock Rovers in the final.
After capturing the Mark Farren Cup last month, Boyle’s boys attempt to do the double remain on track and the squad now look forward to a big final against the Hoops next weekend. Details of that game will be announced in the coming days.
Declan Boyle’s charges started on the front foot with a Ronan Gallagher shot flying just wide an early statement of intent. Halloran responded for the hosts, but his shot failed to trouble the Harps goal.
Harps applied the pressure again and it soon told as Joel Bradley Walsh smashed the ball home following a scramble from a Harps corner. Galway responded once more with some pressure of their own, and could have been level when a cross bounced off the top of the Harps woodwork.
It was Harps though that got the second after Corey McBride was fouled wide on the right. McBride took the resulting free and this time it was Darragh Ellison who was on hand to crash home the finish.
Again the home side responded, and McGing did well to stymie a Colin Kelly chance. It remained 2-0 until half time and in truth it had been a pretty even contest, the difference being Harps took their chances.
The second half was very different as the visitors were well on top throughout. The hard-working Gabby Aduaka was a thorn in the side of the Galway defence all day and was first to test O’Gorman in the Galway goal. Soon after Aduaka broke free again but this time his shot drifted wide. United were struggling to get into the game, but were almost thrown a lifeline when a free skimmed off a Harps head and bounced off the upright.
Harps quickly hit the woodwork themselves as a Ronan Gallagher header smacked off the bar. McBride and Aduaka had further efforts as Harps turned the screw, applying constant pressure on the United defence.
Luke Rudden had replaced Aduaka and scored the decisive third goal. The Carn lad rounded the keeper but found himself on the end line with both keeper and defender rapidly retreating to cover the unfavourable angle, but he was coolness personified as he fired home past both to put the game beyond doubt.
Donal Higgins notched an injury time consolation for Galway with a low drive from close range, but there was no real drama as Harps saw the game out comfortably.
GALWAY UNITED: Sam O Gorman, Liam Corcoran, Ben Molloy, Liam Horkan, Ben O’Gorman, Donal Higgins, Adam Farrell, Aidan Halloran, Colin Kelly, Oleg Vysochan. Subs: Cian O’Brien, Ian Casserly, Iarlaith O’Sullivan, Harry O’Gorman, Darragh Byrne, Eoin McSweeney, Charlie Concannon
FINN HARPS: Eoin McGing, Lee McLaughlin, Darragh Ellisson, Stephen Black, Joel Bradley-Walsh, Jack Doherty, Corie McBride, Brendan Barr, Gabriel Aduaka, Ronan Gallagher, Conor Black. Subs: Adrian McLoughlin, Luke Rudden, Adam McCaffrey, Jamie Doherty, Nathan Logue, Dylan Woods, Finian O’Donnell