Letterkenny Rovers 0 – 5 Nenagh FC
BY RYAN FERRY
Letterkenny Rovers Youth team were outclassed in Leckview Park on Sunday afternoon, as Nenagh convincingly booked their place in the semi-finals of the FAI Youth Cup.
The visitors were in the ascendency right from the beginning of the match and they took the lead after only two minutes through Cian D’Arcy.
Nenagh were on a different level to the home side and they added four more goals to complete the rout and secure their place in the last four.
Anthony Gorman’s Rovers defeated Ballybrack 1-0 after extra-time in the last 16, but they were slow out of the blocks on this occasion.
The Rovers defence did not clear their lines in the second minute, and Ben Bannigan was able to slip Dylan Walsh through on goal.
The left-back’s shot was saved by Jason Quinn, but he could only parry the ball into the path of D’Arcy, who made no mistake from close range.
Rovers grew into the game and David Kelly had to be alert to make a clearance after an excellent Simon McGlynn cross.
Kevin O’Donnell had a good opportunity to level matters in the eighth minute, but he couldn’t get a touch to Ryan McCloskey’s fantastic delivery.
Nenagh were neat on the ball and played some nice football, but they weren’t overly troubling the Rovers backline. However, in the 30th minute, disaster struck for the Letterkenny men when they conceded a second goal.
Alan Sheehan played the ball in behind to D’Arcy and the winger’s shot was superbly stopped by Rover’s goalkeeper Jason Quinn’s feet.
The ball went out to the edge of the box, but Ryan Gilmartin was in the perfect position to produce a delightful cushioned volley which went over the head of the Rovers rearguard and into the net.
Gorman’s team almost got on level terms two minutes later when McGlynn got a flick to a long-throw, but Nenagh’s goalkeeper Cillian Fitzpatrick was across his line quickly to scoop the ball clear.
Rovers continued to press, but in the 36th minute, they were caught on the counter attack. O’Donnell’s cross was cleared out towards the half-way lie, but Brandon Toye miscued his pass, and Nenagh won back possession.
Walsh broke at speed, before slipping the ball into Gilmartin, who produced a thunderous shot, which beat Quinn at his near post.
Rovers faced a daunting task at half-time as the trailed by three goals, but three minutes later it got worse, when Nenagh notched their fourth.
Sheehan showed great composure in the box to link up with D’Arcy, and the winger did not need a second invitation to hammer the ball into the net.
Gareth Doherty almost pulled a goal back with a good shot which just drifted wide, but moments later, they were almost punished again, when Sheehan hit the crossbar.
Nenagh took the foot of the gas slightly as the game progressed, but they almost scored again when Brindr Singh sent a free-kick narrowly wide.
However, it was inevitable that they would get a fifth and it arrived in the 84th minute. Dylan Kennedy was fouled by Dylan Sweeney, and Ciaran O’Reilly stepped up to send a spectacular swerving free-kick past Quinn.
D’Arcy spurned two decent opportunities to complete his hat-trick late on, while Gareth Doherty also missed a good opportunity for Rovers.
It was a dejected Rovers team that left the field after the game, but they can have few complaints about their defeat to a very impressive Nenagh outfit.
Letterkenny Rovers: Jason Quinn; Brandon Toye, Liam Blaney, Jack Blake, Noah Mailey; Simon McGlynn, Gareth Doherty, Dylan Sweeney, Kevin O’Donnell; Gavin McDaid, Ryan McCloskey. Subs: Marty Vance for McDaid (29 mins), Conor Coll for McGlynn (55 mins), Luke Nelis for Mailey (74 mins).
Nenagh FC: Cillian Fitzpatrick; Dylan Kennedy, David Kelly, Ciaran O’Reilly, Dylan Walsh; Cian D’Arcy, Jordan Lewis, Brindr Singh, Ben Bannigan; Alan Sheehan, Ryan Gilmartin. Subs: Craig McDonald and Darragh Duke for Walsh and Sheehan (59 mins), Antoin Provotorov for Lewis (68 mins).
Rovers can take comfort in the fact that they will have home advantage and that the Dubliners will have...