Bohemians 4; Southend United 1
The Village Grounds at Abbeylands was the venue for this final on Thursday night last.
The rain hammered down all through the 80 minutes, and thankfully the host club, Ferrybank, had their floodlights in action because otherwise the game may not have finished such was the darkness of this mid-summer night in Ireland.
Bohemians were crowned cup champions following a fine game between two teams who have dominated this age group all season and met once again on Saturday last in a league play-off tie.
Southend fought hard all through the contest and although the final score flattered Bohemians somewhat, no one could argue that the Ben Wadding Park outfit deserved their hour of glory in this game.
They were strong in every department and their strike force of Paul White and Michael Orpen led the charge with a brace apiece.
Glen Hawe went close for Southend early on with a low shot but the Bohs goalkeeper Josh Byrne got down swiftly to save.
Michael Orphan sent over a cross from the left on 12 minutes which was met by Ryan Foley bout the United defender Aidan O’Neill kicked the ball off the line.
Bohs took the lead in great style after 17 minutes. Good play in the middle of the park resulted in James Connolly drilling a pass through the Southend defence and when Paul White raced forward to meet the ball he drew goalkeeper Dale Sheridan before finishing coolly from 16 yards.
The remainder of the first half was pretty even but neither side really loooked like scoring the second goal of the game.
White scored again five minutes into the second period. Ryan Foley went down the right flank before crossing low to White who was lurking at the near post and he showed real class by side-footing the ball to the net with his right foot.
Bohs’ James Connolly and Dean Hayes combined superbly on 48 minutes but the latter had his shot well saved by Dale Sheridan. Shortly afterwards, Hayes had an effort taken off the line by defender Christopher Dempsey.
Southend got back into the game after 59 minutes when Craig Keane hooked the ball to the net after connecting with a free kick taken out on the right by Kieran Power. Michael Orpen made it 3-1 on 75 minutes when he scored from 30 yards. He looked up and saw the United goalkeeper slightly off his line and duly found the roof of the net. Shortly afterwards Southend were awarded a penalty when Kevin Barry took down Glen Hawe but Josh Byrne saved Craig Keane’s spot kick.
Deep into stoppage time Bohs scored again when Dale Sheridan parried an angled shot from Ryan Foley and when the ball ran loose Orpen rammed the ball into an empty net.
Bohemians (panel): Josh Byrne, Dean Hayes, Colm Morris, Adam Hyslop, Kevin Barry, Conor Morrissey, Ryan Foley, James Connolly, Paul White, Graham Robinson, Michael Orpen, Thomas Whitty, Chris Lynch, Craig Connolly, Jason Keane, Sean Barron.
Southend United (panel): Dale Sheridan, Christopher Dempsey, Eamon Power, Andrew Ryan, James Griffin, Glen Hawe, Craig Keane, Martin O’Neill, Aidan O’Neill, Sean O’Loughlin, Stuart Mitchell, Jason O’Neill, Robert Burke, Kieran Power, Dean Kennedy.
Referee: Paul O’Keeffe