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guiden's golden goal



THE Match of the Day music greeted the teams. The Whitehall lawn never looked better.

If Ronnie O'Sullivan had come at half-time with his cue nobody would have been surprised.

Like before all the games, the National Anthem was played. The setting was perfect. There was a real sense of occasion down on the Farm. The players had stars in their eyes.

There was a good crowd in the stand. They had much to admire here.

The son of the Dub got the winner. Sean Guiden's fifth-minute goal proved golden. The Da, Niall, played for the Dubs.

Malahide were attacking the carpark end. Mark Duggan created the opening. Guiden bought himself a few yards on the left of the box before delivering with precision to the far corner.

It was a picture goal. It was worthy of winning any cup final. And this hour was as good as it gets.

Both sides played some splendid football. There was so much craft in the feet. The Cork centre-forward, Adam Idah, didn't lack speed or skill.

Clear-cut chances were rare. Top-class defending saw to that. Fourteen minutes into the second half, Guiden was shaping up for a second goal. He was denied by a brilliant tackle from Scott Philpott.

Then when Corinthians were searching with gusto for an equaliser, Luke Doherty reminded all of Bobby Moore and Paul McGrath as he nicked a ball off a toe and then in the next instant he again won the ball as clean as a whistle.

David Davidson was in charge. For years he has been one of the most respected refs in the game. And he didn't get an ounce of bother from two wonderful sporting sides.

Malahide pressed to get a second, but they also had to keep the windows closed. Idah, in front of the stand, set off on another powerful surge, but he was stopped by another exhibition of a tackling masterclass, this time by Cian Trehy.

In the opening half, Idah had gone closest of all for the Lordly Leesiders, who can feel proud of their efforts.

The rain began to fall before the end, but people hardly noticed. There was too much good football to talk about.

MALAHIDE UNITED: Simon Murphy; Daire Nally, Sean Gibson, Cormac Burke, Cian Trehy, Luke Mooney, Josh Bannon, Luke Doherty, Jack Moylan, Mark Duggan, Sean Guiden. Keith Ennis, Conor Grant, Adam Stenson, Mark Morris, Denis Smith.

CORINTHIANS BOYS: Richard Lombard; Mark Hill, Liam Edwards, Conor Murphy, David Murphy, Jeff Holden, Fionn Molloy, Scott Philpott, Adam Idah, David Fox, Leo Barron. Oisin O'Keefe, Niall Hartnett, Daniel Harte, Joseph Harte, Brian Hayes.

Referee: David Davidson. Assistants: David Buckley, Keith Thornton. Fourth Official: Mark Connor.