Leinster Senior Cup Final Report: St Patrick's Athletic 4 - 0 Athlone TownSat, Nov 16 2019
Dave Donnelly reports from Richmond Park
St Patrick’s Athletic were crowned Leinster Senior Cup champions for the first time in five years as a youthful side saw off the challenge of First Division Athlone Town at Richmond.
Shorn of all their senior players, a team made up of under-17 and under-19 players triumphed thanks to goals from Kyle Robinson, Brandon Holt, Jake Walker and Daniel Dobbin.
Walker, the only player in the Saints side with significant first-team experience, capped off the win 15 minutes from time as he latched onto a loose Gavin Kearney backpass.
It was no less than the young Saints side deserved as, coached by under-19s boss Jamie Moore, they dominated the game from the moment Robinson broke the deadlock just past the half-hour.
It was the first real action of a hitherto uneventful game that Athlone, boasting a more or less full-strength side despite finishing their First Division campaign two months earlier, edged early doors.
Aaron Brilly had forced a routine save from Brian Maher in the opening exchanges before the keeper was fortunate not to drop Jamie Hamilton’s cross at the feet of an Athlone striker.
The visitors continued to have the better off the play and should have taken the lead when John Morgan’s cross found Kealan Dillon, but the striker headed straight at Maher.
It was a costly miss as Pats went straight up the other end and, with advantage being played for Ciaran Grogan’s foul on Cian Hughes, the number 10 fed Robinson wide on the left.
The winger cut into the box and curled his shot back across the helpless Aaron Myles, his second goal in two games after putting the Saints in front in extra time against Sheriff YC.
Robinson very nearly doubled his tally in first-half injury time as he dinked a shot over Myles but the retreating Kearney cleared off the line into his grateful keeper’s arms.
Athlone arrived out early for the second half and signalled their intent when former Saint Darren Meenan shot over the bar from the edge of the box, but it proved a false dawn.
The Athletic soon reasserted control and it took an excellent save from Myles to deny Walker when the striker was slipped in ny Hughes.
From the resulting corner, Kearney cleared off the line but, as the Saints pressure continued, Brandon Holt was on hand to stab home Kevin O’Reilly’s cross from close range.
Any danger of an Athlone comeback was snuffed out by Walker when he intercepted a short Kearney backpass and calmly sidefooted past a stricken Myles.
Dobbin added the fourth three minutes from time with a low shot from the edge of the box as the Saints rounded off a scintillating win.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brian Maher; Paul Cleary, Keith Carter, Kevin O’Reilly, Brandon Holt; Jamie Whelan (Sean Madden 57), Daniel Dobbin, Cian Hughes; Kian Corbally, Kyle Robinson (Kevin Kelly 83), Jake Walker (Dara McGuinness 90).
Subs not used: Morgan Rice (gk), Sean Madden, Cian Kelly, Glory Nzingo, Ugo Anny-Nzekwue, Dara McGuinness.
Booked: Jamie Whelan (18), Jake Walker (63), Brandon Holt (79).
Athlone Town: Aaron Myles; Aaron Brilly, Gavin Kearney, Ciaran Grogan, John Morgan (Paddy Kelly 80); Rhys Gorman, Shane Dunne (Adam Lennon 57), Evan Pierce (Jean-Yves Poambe 60); Darren Meenan, Jamie Hamilton, Kealan Dillon.
Subs not used: Dean O’Shea, Aaron Shanahan, Izzy Kimazo.
Booked: Ciaran Grogan (80).
Referee: Alan Patchell.
Attendance: 500 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Kyle Robinson (St Patrick’s Athletic).