DDSL League Cup: Cabinteely U-18 Premier 5-3 Landen United
Our DDSL U-18 Premiers took on Landen United FC in a memorable semi-final clash in Kilbogget Park this morning, with no shortage of goals and action in this end-to-end clash.

Cabo started with the wind behind their sails quite literally and went in front early through Ben Whelan’s fantastic header , with the midfield maestro getting up highest from an in-swinging cross (below).

Cabo’s momentum continued, with David Harris playing a one-two from a short corner with Tom Curran and the latter found his shot hit the net after a fantastic dribble to send Cabo into a commanding 2-0 lead and one foot in the final.

Back came Landen after Cabo had a third goal disallowed when David Harris was controversially ruled offside to the home support’s frustration; the away side began to build in momentum with some fantastic one and two touch football of their own which, three minutes from half-time, paid off after Cabo failed to clear their lines and the Landen forward stabbed the ball home to make the game slightly more nervy for the Cabo faithful.

With Cabo reverting to a 4-5-1 formation in the second half with manager Paul ‘AVB’ McBride taking advice from coach Paul Downer which seemed to pay off as Landen grew frustrated. Eventually, though, Landen’s pressure paid off after home ‘keeper Neil Costello’s parry fell to the Landen forward who made no mistake to make it 2-2 and saw the momentum now swinging to the away side.

But Cabo became more adventurous and began on the attack again with skipper Carl ‘Chopper’ Murphy putting his shot wide after being found 1v1 in the final third. Then, after the skipper was replaced by Karl Kinch due to a knee problem, Cabo continued their pressure and the breakthrough came again through the magnificent Whelan, with another excellent header from a cross from the right-hand side that saw Kilbogget Park lit up with a great roar that could only compare with that of Celtic Park or the San Siro.

Cabo then put the game to bed with Tom Curran rounding the goalkeeper to finish after another 1v1 that sent Cabo into raptures, with the win almost sealed. The final nail in Landen’s coffin was when Tomo Mahon, who managed to stay on his feet for a change, saw his low drive met by the superb Kyle Braine to wrap it up at 5-2 to let the celebrations began.

However, Landen immediately quietened everyone down a little by scoring a wonder strike from over 50 yards, straight from the tip-off, to cap off an unbelievable league cup semi-final and joy for Cabo Seniors’ next generation of stars as they now prepare for the grand finale in May, with the lads hoping to overcome the disappointment of the play-off defeat at the end of last season.

There was a lot of mutual respect between the teams at the end, with both teams having represented their clubs in a good competitive manner and, in manager Paul’s opinion, Landen was one of the strongest sides that Cabo has played all year. Both sides played some great possession football at stages in the game.

A big well done to all involved including the coaching staff of Stephen, Pearse and Paul Downer who assisted manager Paul today and, of course, the players on their excellent performance. Thanks also to the great support that encouraged the lads at all times.

Cabo squad on the day: 1. Neil Costello, 2. Keith Kelly, 3. Paul Murray, 4. Dan Nolan, 5. Ger Hartigan, 6. Carl Murphy (c), 7. Ben Whelan, 8. James Toale, 9. Tom Curran, 10. David Harris, 11. Jay Bergin, 12. Tomo Mahon, 13. Kyle Braine, 14. Karl Kinch, 15. Ross Miller, 16. Thomas McGrath.

To see some more photos taken at the match, do enjoy the slideshow below. You may also review the photos on this link if you’re on certain devices.

The lads will be looking for as much support as possible for the final, so do look out for details.