Friday 24 May 2019

Crumbs, what a win for Malahide!

Charlie Cahill Cup: Crumlin United 1 Malahide United 1 (AET, Mals won 5-4 on penalties)

Paul Byrne

There were scenes of jubilation in Whitehall on Sunday afternoon as Malahide United edged out Crumlin United to win the Charlie Cahill Cup.

Ger Coughlan's side put in a magnificent display as they scored a late equaliser in extra time to force the game to penalties.

Dylan McNulty was one of the many heroes on the day as he got down low to his right to keep out Crumlin's fifth penalty, thus giving substitute Levi Boardman the chance to win it for Malahide.

The midfielder held his nerve as he slotted the ball past Michael Quinn in the Crumlin goal to spark wild celebrations on the sidelines.

The first half was a real battle as both sides enjoyed decent spells of possession at various stages of the half.

The first real chance of the game fell to Malahide striker Darren Craven who beat his man before drilling a low shot which just missed the target.

Crumlin were utilising the long, diagonal ball well as they continuously found space wide on the wings early on. Jake Donnelly went close for the league leaders with a dipping shot from fully 25 yards which was well saved by McNulty in the Malahide goal.

Malahide had one late chance to go in ahead at half-time as Cillian Timmins tried his luck from distance, but once again his shot failed to trouble the Crumlin keeper.

The second half continued in much the same vein, with the game being played at breakneck speed.

Despite the lack of goals this was a thoroughly entertaining game, with neither side holding back as the game began to open up.

Malahide made a couple of changes at half-time and one of those worked really well as former Dundalk Under-19 starlet Jordi Ebanda came in to terrorise the Crumlin defence. Ebanda was a danger every time he received the ball and he went close to giving his side the lead with a drilled shot from distance which was well held by Michael Quinn in the Crumlin goal.

With time running out Crumlin went close to snatching a late winner as Jake Donnelly just failed to make contact with an inviting cross from Alan McGreal out on the left.

The final whistle sounded shortly afterwards, which meant we were set for extra time.

Crumlin drew first blood, scoring seven minutes into the first period with what looked to be a crucial goal. Once again Alan McGreal found space out wide before sending in a wonderful cross which was glanced home by substitute Liam Brady.

Malahide were throwing caution to the wind now as they poured forward in search of an equaliser and as the second half of extra time started they began to pile on the pressure. That pressure yielded a precious goal with 10 minutes to go as Ebanda sent in a perfect cross which was headed home by Boardman to draw his side level.

Both sides went close late on, but a winner was not forthcoming and as the referee blew his whistle it meant that we were going to penalties to decide the victors of the season's first major piece of silverware.

The first eight penalties were perfect, which meant that when McNulty saved Crumlin's fifth spot kick his side were on the verge of victory.

Boardman stepped up and looked like the coolest person in Whitehall as he casually stroked the ball home to confirm Malahide as winners.

Ebanda was deservedly named man of the match, but in truth all the Malahide players were heroes on the day as they upset the odds to topple Crumlin.

Malahide Utd: Dylan McNulty, Brian Foley, Ryan Dooney, Jack Traynor (Levi Boardman), Glen Daly, Mark Brennan (Rob Duggan), Cillian Timmins (Jordi Ebanda), Gareth Craven, Darren Craven (Ciaran McGahon), Dylan Cashin, Karl Melling.

Fingal Independent