Derry City secure EA Sports Cup Enda McGuill Cup after penalty shoot-out

Derry City U19 1, Bohemians U19 1 (Derry City won 5-4 on penalties)

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 2:28 pm
Derry City celebrate winning the EA Sports U19 Enda McGuill Cup. Picture by George Sweeney

It was penalty shoot-out joy for Derry City U19's as they secured the EA Sports Enda McGuill Cup for just the second time in the club's history, seeing off Bohemians U19, in Wednesday night's final.

Goalkeeper Raudhan McKenna kept out Bohemians Darragh Murtagh's fifth penalty in the shoot-out, leaving Michael Harris with the honour to fire home the all important spot-kick and spark wild celebrations amongst the large home support, at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

The Dubliners took the lead in superb fashion in extra-time when centre-back Sean Grehan scored a stunning opening goal, but credit to the ten men of Derry as deep into extra-time Evan McLaughlin levelled things from the penalty spot.

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Derry City’s Under 19 players celebrate their EA Sports U19 Enda McGuill Cup Final victory over Bohemians at the Brandywell Stadium on Wednesday night. Picture by George Sweeney. DER2143GS – 082

In normal time Derry should have taken the lead on 10 minutes as the lively Harris skipped away from Grehan down the right and his teasing low centre into the six yard box found an unmarked Patrick Ferry, but the usually deadly finisher, completely missed his kick with the goal at his mercy.

Moments later Harris broke the offside trap to race onto Dean Corrigan's long ball, but as he waited for the ball to come down, Bohs centre-back Grehan got back to divert the ball away for a corner.

The visitors first effort on goal came on 21 minutes when after a neat passing moving, right-back Gavin O'Brien saw his 25 yard strike, easily gathered by Derry goalkeeper McKenna.

Minutes later Craig Sexton's young side should have done better when Aaron Doran found himself with some space inside the Derry box, but from the left hand angle, the midfielder failed to test McKenna and blasted over.

Just after the half-hour mark O'Brien's neat right wing cross found Darragh Murtagh, but his shot on the turn from just inside the box was straight at McKenna.

On 40 minutes a sublime pass by Derry's Caolan McLaughlin released Ferry, but with only Bohs goalkeeper Enda Minogue to beat, the young City striker saw his side footed effort come back off the post.

Bohs had a super chance on 55 minutes as Doran raced onto Murtagh's pass, but with only McKenna to beat the midfielder dragged his shot wide.

Soon after Derry were reduced to ten men when right-back Caoimhin Porter was dismissed when he rightfully picked up a second cautioned after pulling back Mahon on the edge of the box, leaving referee Michael Connolly with no option but to show him with a second yellow card followed by a red.

Just after the hour mark Gerald Boyle decided to shake things up for the home side by bringing on McLaughlin and Marc Walsh for Mark McFadden and Caolan McLaughlin respectively.

Bohs' Billy Vance missed a glorious chance on 80 minutes to break the deadlock as Doran found the substitute, but his angled drive was booted away by McKenna.

The ten men went close to finally scoring on 96 minutes, but substitute Marc Walsh saw his well hit drive flash just over Minogue's crossbar.

McKenna was called into action soon after when another flowing passing move by the Gypsies ended with left-back Len O'Sullivan finding himself free inside the Derry penalty box, but his side footed effort from 12 yards was superbly tipped away by the diving Derry keeper.

Bohs took the lead in stunning fashion on 101 minutes when Brentford bound Grehan brought the ball out from the back and his 25 yard pile driver flew past the diving McKenna and into the top left hand corner.

Derry were awarded a spot kick on 114 minutes as substitute Darragh Levingston handled Ferry's flick-on inside the box and referee Connolly pointed to the spot, from which Evan McLaughlin made no mistake, firing low into Minogue's bottom left hand corner.

Deep into stoppage time in extra-time Levingston should have made amends for giving away the penalty, but his close range diving header, flew well past McKenna's left hand post.

Right at the death Vance could have won it when he got in behind Derry's Ronan McAleer, but from a tight angle, the winger blasted well over the bar.

Derry City U19: Raudhan McKenna, Gerard Storey, Mattie Walker (Darragh Kelly 113), Caoimhin Porter, Dean Corrigan, Shaun McDermott, Orrin McLaughlin (Ronan McAleer 109), Mark McFadden (Evan McLaughlin 63), Caolan McLaughlin (Marc Walsh 63 (Tiernan McKinney 105), Patrick Ferry, Michael Harris.

Bohemians U19: Enda Minogue, Gavin O'Brien (Jake McCormack 118), Len O'Sullivan, Cian Byrne, Sean Grehan, Colin Conroy (Darragh Levingston 108), Opeyemi Owolabi (Billy Vance 57), Sean McMannus (James McMannus 96), Darragh Murtagh, Aaron Doran, Robbie Mahon.

Referee: Michael Connolly (Donegal).