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Magic Martin sees Waterford through

Waterford Schoolboy League 3

North Dublin Schoolboy League 0

A quite brilliant footballing performance from the Waterford U16 Inter League side saw them progress to the national cup final after they proved far too good for the North Dublin Schoolboy League at the RSC on Saturday afternoon.

This was one of the most impressive displays by any Waterford representative side in recent years as Ray Anderson's side came back after losing a Munster final against Cork to cruise into the national decider, which will be played at Cahir Park on Sunday week.

Waterford dominated the early exchanges with striking duo Michael Sweeney and Brendan Martin causing problems for the visiting defence, but unfortunately a couple of mistimed runs saw both players caught offside in decent positions before the former had an effort cleared off the line by defender Ciarán McGuire on 14 minutes.

Sweeney was celebrating a fantastic lead goal for Waterford less than 60 seconds later when a magnificently timed ball from Conor Murray sent the striker in the clear. After superbly bringing the ball onto his favoured left-foot, he gave NDSL 'keeper Eoin Dennis no chance with a powerful finish from the edge of the penalty area.

When Brendan Martin was brought to ground under a challenge from North Dublin defender McGuire on 20 minutes, it was Michael Sweeney who saw his cracking free kick from 25 yards flash just inches wide of the right hand post.

Two minutes later, 'keeper Dennis that came to the NDSL's rescue when Brendan Martin got free inside the area. His excellent right-footed effort was superbly tipped around the posts. From the resulting Dylan McGuire cross, it was that man Sweeney who got on the end of the delivery, but his header was just over the crossbar as Waterford continued to boss the tie.

Waterford doubled their lead on 31 minutes when Martin and Sweeney linked up before setting up Conor Murray, who scored one of the best goals seen in the RSC in recent times with a spectacular right-footed effort from 35 yards.

North Dublin came more into the game in the second half as Brian Foley and Dylan Kelly began to get a foothold. The Dubs pushed more men forward, but Matthew Connor in the Waterford goal saved twice from Quireo Dias and Shane Carter.

Waterford were soon back on the attack and Martin, Murray and Andy Molumby all had shots saved by the NDSL 'keeper.

Martin completed a brilliant performance deep into injury time with a neat first-time finish as Waterford eased into the cup final where they face Cork or Galway.

Waterford Schoolboy League: Matthew Connor, Dylan Walsh (Adam Doheny '80), Dylan McGuire, Eddie Meaney, Aidan Holden, Eric O'Halloran, Andy Molumby (Keith O'Loughlin '80), Conor Murray, Michael Sweeney (Eric Walsh `80), Brendan Martin (Luke Doherty `80), Hayden Galibert (Roy Butler '62)

North Dublin Schoolboy League: Eoin Dennis, Steven Mullins, Barry Lougheen, Ciarán McGuire, Brian Foley, Dylan Kelly, Shane Carter, Quireo Dias, Joseph Fitzpatrick, Jason Fox (Tommy Kinsella '64)

Referee: Noel Ryan. Assistants: Keith Fitzgerald and Ian Paul.


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