East End United 0
A FIRST half goal spree helped Freebooters under-12s roar their way to cup glory.
Andrew Walsh was the goal king, grabbing a hat-trick as the Blues beat East End United to wrap up the second leg of a league and cup double at Derdimus.
The striker wasted little time in showing his appetite for goal and hit the net after just two minutes. Started by Craig Hayes’s excellent pass out to the right Sean Bolger whipped a cross into the box. Jake Maher controlled it., then laid the ball off for Walsh to smash inside the near post.
Backed by the strong breeze the Blues made the best of their quick, moving two goals clear five minutes later. Edward Moylan came up from the back to take a free-kick and made the trip worthwhile, curling a delightful shot over the wall into the far corner of the United net.
If East End were stunned by that goal they were left reeling when ’Booters made it 3-0 with just 13 minutes on the clock.
Having watched his team-mates find great joy from distance Christian Lapuiste tried his luck with a long range shot. He unleashed a powerful strike, but his swerving effort cracked off the bar.
The drama wasn’t over though - the ever-alert Walsh was alive to the loose ball and pounced to nod home the rebound.
Hungry for more goals, Freebooters almost made it 4-0 by the 17th minute. Racing on to a Dean George delivery Craig Hayes seemed certain to score when he beat goalkeeper Stephen Holden, but defender Leo McCarthy got back in time to make a fine stop close to the line.
They shrugged off that miss in style, and grabbed that fourth goal eight minutes before the break. Hayes did the hard work, picking up the ball on the right and scorching down the flank. Beating the last tackle he pulled a low ball across the box, a perfectly-weighted ball that Jake Maher gleefully tapped home.
Full of fire
Rather than lie down East End came out full of fire in the second half. They almost got a dream start, as Kyran O’Sullivan helped Ronan O’Connor’s early corner on to Cillian Power, but his close range shot was blocked at the back post.
United kept the pressure on, with Hugh Corkery’s long range shooting keeping the Blues at bay, but try as they might the boys from Bennettsbridge couldn’t find a way past Stephen Scallon.
As for the champions, they still had time to bag a fifth goal. Andy Walsh capped a fine day when he raced on to a long ball in the dying seconds, held off his marker and fired a low shot to the net to complete a memorable hat-trick.
Freebooters: Stephen Scallon, Joe Banville, Edward Moylan (Brian O’Neill, 36 mins), Kevin Murphy, Chris Phelan, Dean George, Sean Bolger (Evan Swan, 36 mins), Christian Lapuiste, Craig Hayes (Ross Whelan, 53 mins), Andrew Walsh, Jake Maher.
East End United: Stephen Holden, Nathan Culleton, McKenzie Davern, Drew DeKocks (David Waugh, 47 mins), Leo McCarthy, Kyran O’Sullivan (Sam O’Dwyer, 53 mins), John Hoyne (Joe Connolly, 31 mins), Ronan O’Connor, Shane Hanley, Hugh Corkery, Cillian Power.
Referee: Nicky Marnell. Linesmen: James Dunne, Larry Buggy.