FAI Airtricity Under 19 League Wednesday 11th April, 2012 At Dalymount Park
Dalymount Park is a venue steeped in history, not just for the home club but also for Shamrock Rovers. The Hoops achieved many of their great successes at the Phibsboro venue - the scene of epic European games in the late 1950’s and 1960’s and, of course, the famous six in a row FAI Cup successes. It’s the place where all-time greats the likes of Bob Fullam, Paddy Coad and Frank O’Neill for Rovers and Jimmy Bermingham, the O’Flanagan brothers and Pat Byrne, who played for both Rovers and Bohs, all enjoyed success at some stage or other in their careers.
On show at Dalymount on Wednesday were the stars of the future. It would be fair to say that both clubs would have reasonable hopes that at least some of those on show can go on to bigger and better things in the game. Although this game ended scoreless the decent-sized crowd at least had a good opportunity to make an assessment for themselves of these promising young lads.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a game for the purist. The ball spent a lot of time in the air, particularly in the first half. This being a derby game, there was a lot of pride at stake; even at this level Rovers-Bohs games have that bit of extra edge. The Hoops began well and the game was only on for a minute when midfielder Niall Forrester evaded the attention of both Ryan Thorpe and Conor O’Brien and crossed the ball for Dean Ebbe but the big striker could only head it as far as goalkeeper Greg Murray. Rovers forced two quick corners after that but Bohs defended robustly and were principally responsible for a lot of the long ball stuff during this stage of the game. Hoops midfielder Charlie Kenna was fouled by Lee Halford in one such challenge and referee Paula Brady had to give the Bohs player a stern talking to. The Hoops looked the more dangerous in the first half but time and time again they found themselves thwarted by Gypsie’s centre half Daniel Byrne who was a busy and very effective player.
Rovers had their first setback of the game when they lost winger Kelvin Jackson in the 29th minute through injury. His replacement, James Mullaney, had to later switch to left full to cover Jack Memery after the defender was sent off for a second yellow card offence. Forrester took a super free kick in the 36th minute after Bohs right full Lee Lismore fouled Lorcan Shannon and although Murray gathered it he let it fall out of his hands but the ball rolled out of danger. Mullaney committed a foul at the other end but Dan Mahon didn’t get enough power behind his free kick to trouble Lee Steacy in goal for Rovers.
Donal Branagan for Rovers and Dan Mahon for Bohs pictured in action at Dalymount Park
The home side won a couple of free kicks outside the Rovers’ box and from one of these, taken by Corey Davidson as half time rapidly approached Mahon looked certain to open the scoring but somehow his effort flew past the post and out of danger.
Bohs went close again just after the break when Halford got on to the end of Michael Scott’s free kick. Almost immediately after that, Steacy’s big kick out found Dean Ebbe but the striker hit his shot wide. Murray did really well twelve minutes after the break to save from Forrester. Despite being a man down, the Hoops dug deep and refused to let the disadvantage hold them back. Bohs didn’t make the extra man count, in fact it was Rovers who created more danger in the second half. Bohs should have scored in the 78th minute and Corey Davidson is probably still asking himself how his shot failed to end up in the back of the net?
Rovers had a massive let off at that point but then too so had Bohs in the 88th minute when Murray somehow managed to tip over a great long range free kick by Garry Comer ford - the free having been awarded after substitute Cian Gordon fouled Marc Keely. The Hoops forced three quick corners before the full time whistle blew and considering that they played for the entire second half with just ten players they had more reason to be happy at the end of the game than their hosts.
Speaking after the game, Hoops manager Declan Hevey said he was proud of his players for the performance they gave and he praised the manner in which they went about their job.
Bohemians: 25 Greg Murray. 2 Lee Lismore (Gordon 87 mins). 3 Paddy Seery. 4 Daniel Byrne. 5 Ryan Thorpe. 6 Lee Halford (Caffrey 79 mins). 7 Michael Scott. (Watson 58 mins). 8 Conor O’Brien. 9 Dan Mahon. 10 Corey Davidson. 11 Andy Mulligan. Substitutes: 12 Dan Higgins. 14 Cian Gordan. 15 Jack Watson. 16 Gary Caffrey. 17. Mark Radford.. 1 Sean Dunne.
Shamrock Rovers: 1 Lee Steacy. 2 Dean Power. 3 Jack Memrey. 4 Garry Comerford. 5 Donal Branagan.. 6 Karl McGrath. 7 Lorcan Shannon (Keeley 84 mins). 8 Charlie Kenna. 9 Dean Ebbe (Byrne 84 mins). 20 Niall Forrester. 11 Kelvin Jackson (Mullaney 29 mins). Substitutes: 13 James Mullaney. 14 Ciaran Byrne. 15 Marc Keeley. 16 Stephen Foy. 17 Sean Dixon. 18 Thomas O’Rourke.
Match Report compiled by Robert Goggins