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Saints show

DROGHEDA can feel well pleased with their day's work. They campaign in the 15 Major division.

They came to Shanowen Road and gave more than a good account of themselves in Saturday's SFAI Under-15 Evans Cup tie.

It was remarkable that the game was on at all. Nearly everything else had fallen to the weather.

But the sod at Santry Stadium will always be the green, green grass of home.

There wasn't even a puddle on the surface. Or a pocket of mud.

The hosts reside in the Premier. And they have many players who are quality street.

The right full-back, Mark Murray, got in several decent crosses.

The left full-back, John Barry, has a sweet left peg.

Diamond

Their central midfielder, Jack Ryan, is a diamond of a passer. He's always looking to open out the play.

And centre-forward, Lido Lotefa, can hold the ball up well and bring a team-mate into the picture.

He did that many times during the 80 minutes. He'd make an option for a colleague, and with his back to goal, he'd take the ball in tight to himself, buy a yard and then release the pass.

The Saints dominated the possession. But Drogheda defended so well.

And they also played some fine football themselves.

They enjoyed some excellent spells around midfield where quick first-time passing under pressure impressed the congregation.

James Carroll, Adam Brady and Niall Smyth linked up well with crisp combinations.

This was a team that had never heard of Row Z.

They kept it on the carpet, and it was no ordinary carpet.

Mood

The Drogheda captain was Malic Lusca. He played in central defence.

He set the mood for the rest of the team. He played a blinder.

He headed balls away, made timely tackles and he was brave.

In the first half he took one on the face for the team. He's a inspirational leader.

A goal in each half won the day. But the visitors were so unlucky not to have scored themselves.

They were two-down and attacking the Garda Station end. Brady delivered over a corner from the left.

A mighty scramble developed on the six-yard line. Carroll connected with the ball. And so did a couple of others.

How it stayed out of the sack will remain a mystery. Drogheda would have richly deserved a goal.

The lead goal had come on 32 minutes. Ryan Hart's well-hit 25-yard shot thundered against the Drogheda bar.

It nudged a defection on its way. From the resultant corner on the right, Leo Tang's left-footer went to the back stick from where Lotefa headed in.

Earlier on, Tang's beautifully struck low shot brought the best from Steven Beirth with Jake Walker hitting the rebound against the post.

Walker was to shake the post again before the sound of the boiling kettle, while Beirth showed save hands in rising to collecting Tang's corner.

The second goal came on the hour. Gavin Kilkenny's strike was saved by Beirth, but, like all good forwards, Lotefa was following in and hoping.

And he duly tapped in the rebound.

Before the final whistle, Beirth foiled Lotefa of his hat-trick before the excellent Mitchel Byrne was inches over with a thumper.

ST KEVIN'S BOYS: Brian Maher; Mark Murray, John Barry, Jamie Carrig, Mitchel Byrne, Ryan Hart, Dylan O'Reilly, Jack Ryan, Lido Lotefa, Jake Walker, Leo Tang. Gavin Kilkenny, Luke Ring, Ray O'Sullivan, Brian McManus, Mark Kenny.

DROGHEDA BOYS : Steven Beirth; Ciaran McCann, Eoin Wall, Alan Connor, Malic Lusca, James Carroll, Hayden Fitzpatrick, Adam Brady, Niall Brodigan, Niall Smyth, Jamie Kirwan. Brandon Kavanagh, Nathan Sunderland, Prince Escojar, Lucas Davonokas, Allen Villiums, Luke Reilly.

REFEREE: Christy Dunne


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