SSE Airtricity U17 League Final
Result: Finn Harps 3-0 Shamrock Rovers
Goals: Joel Bradley Walsh, Gabriel Aduaka, Conor Black.
Report from Maginn Park by Stuart Connolly
Finn Harps U17’s defeated Shamrock Rovers at Maginn Park to lift the SSE Airtricity U17 League Title, earning them an historic first-time double.
Joel Bradley Walsh and Gabriel Aduaka got the goals in the first half, and Conor Black added a third in the second-half to clinch the title at Maginn Park.
Having dispatched of Galway United down at Eamonn Deacy Park in the semi-final, Harps gave themselves the chance for an historic double, having won the SSE Airtricity U17 Mark Farren Memorial Cup in September. In their way, were the much-fancied Shamrock Rovers side who overcame St. Patrick’s Athletic in their semi-final.
The game started in a very calm manner with both sides eager not to give anything away in the final. Harps’ Darragh Ellison had a half-chance after 10 minutes from a set piece but his glancing header went wide of Gavin Bazunu’s goal.
Harps looked dangerous on the attack having grown into the game and nine minutes later, the home side took the lead in the 19th minute.
Ronan Gallagher was fouled on the edge of the area, slightly to the left side and Joel Bradley Walsh stood over the free-kick before whipping it around the wall and in off the near post.
Shamrock Rovers were a threat too and almost equalised just after the half-hour.
After some neat play in the area, James Clarke had a powerful effort at goal from close range but saw his effort cannon off the crossbar.
With the interval approaching, Harps doubled the lead. Conor Black showed some persistence to get the ball off the defender and passed to Gabriel Aduaka who was unmarked in the area. The Harps man took a touch before firing past Bazunu and into the right-hand corner.
Harps had a healthy lead entering the second half and ten minutes after the break, they put one hand on the SSE Airtricity U17 League title with another goal.
The impressive Black picked up the ball outside the area and after he ran at goal, faked a shot to make some space, he blasted his effort into the top-left corner.
Shamrock Rovers, despite the scoreline, looked lively and continued to create chances, showing fantastic spirit throughout the final.
However, Harps’ Luke Rudden had a late chance to add a fourth for his side but saw his effort saved by the feet of Bazunu.
Harps held on to keep a clean sheet and lift the SSE Airtricity U17 League title for an incredible League and Cup double.
Finn Harps: Eoin McGing; Lee McLaughlin, Darragh Ellison, Stephen Black, Joel Bradley Walsh; Jack Doherty (Jamie Doherty 90), Corrie McBride (Dylan Woods 83), Brendan Barr (Adam McCaffrey 71), Gabriel Aduaka (Luke Rudden 90); Ronan Gallagher, Conor Black.
Shamrock Rovers: Gavin Bazunu; Martins Olakanye (Dean McMenamy 85), Alex Dunne (Conor Behan 46), Andrew Spain, Cian Kelly; Danila Bogdanovs, James Clarke (Jack Kelly 46), Thomas Oluwa, Jordan Tallon (Emmanuel Odeniyi 67); Toby Owens, James Furlong.