The Harps Squad that advanced to the final

Galway United U17s 1-3 Finn Harps 17s

The Harps U17s produced a superb team display to advance to a home final next weekend.  Goals from Joel Bradley-Walsh and captain Darragh Ellisson in the first half plus a late clincher from Luke Rudden saw the young Harps score a well-deserved win.  Shamrock Rovers will be the opponents next weekend as a domestic double is the prize for the home side.  Details of that game will be announced in due course.

Joel Bradley-Walsh, Darragh Ellisson and Luke Rudden got the Harps goals, pictured here with Joel’s very prond little brother Kael

Declan Boyle’s charges started on the front foot with a Ronan Gallagher shot flying just wide an early statement of intent.  Halloran responded for the hosts, but his shot failed to trouble the Harps goal.  Harps applied the pressure again and it soon told as Joel Bradley Walsh smashed the ball home following a scramble from a Harps corner.  Galway responded once more with some pressure of their own, and could have been level when a cross bounced off the top of the Harps woodwork.

It was Harps though that got the second after Corey McBride was fouled wide on the right.  McBride took the resulting free and this time it was Darragh Ellisson who was on hand to crash home the finish.  Again the home side responded, and McGing did well to stymie a Colin Kelly chance.  It remained two nil until half time and in truth it had been a pretty even contest, the difference being Harps took their chances.

The second half was very different as the visitors were well on top throughout.  The hard-working Gabby Aduaka was a thorn in the side of the Galway defence all day and was first to test O’Gorman in the Galway goal.  Not long later he broke free once more but this time his shot drifted wide.  United were struggling to get into the game, but were almost thrown a life line when a free skimmed off a Harps head and bounced off the upright.  Harps quickly hit the woodwork themselves as a Ronan Gallagher header smacked off the bar.  McBride and Aduaka had further efforts as Harps turned the screw, applying constant pressure on the United defence.

Luke Rudden had replaced Aduaka and scored the decisive third goal. Rudden rounded the keeper but found himself on the end line with both keeper and defender rapidly retreating to cover the unfavourable angle, but he was coolness personified as he fired home past both to put the game beyond doubt.  Donal Higgins notched an injury time consolation for Galway with a low drive from close range, but there was no real drama as Harps saw the game out comfortably.

Galway United: Sam O Gorman, Liam Corcoran, Ben Molloy, Liam Horkan, Ben O’Gorman, Donal Higgins, Adam Farrell, Aidan Halloran, Colin Kelly, Oleg Vysochan. Subs: Cian O’Brien, Ian Casserly, Iarlaith O’Sullivan, Harry O’Gorman, Darragh Byrne, Eoin McSweeney, Charlie Concannon

Finn Harps: Eoin McGing, Lee McLaughlin, Darragh Ellisson, Stephen Black, Joel Bradley-Walsh, Jack Doherty, Corie McBride, Brendan Barr, Gabriel Aduaka, Ronan Gallagher, Conor Black. Subs: Adrian McLoughlin, Luke Rudden, Adam McCaffrey, Jamie Doherty, Nathan Logue, Dylan Woods, Finian O’Donnell

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