A big weekend lies ahead for Mervue United's u-14 side when they travel to Dublin to face St Francis in the SFAI Goodson Cup final on Sunday at Jackson Park in Kilternan (2pm ).
Damien Brennan and Rynal Browne’s side will be looking to capture a cup the club last won in 2006 when current Irish senior international Greg Cunningham (Bristol City ) along with his twin Dan, Stephen Folan (Limerick FC ) and Mike Elwood (Galway FC ) were on the winning team.
Mervue will look to Aaron Connolly and Ronan Manning, who have been hitting the net all season, while winger Adam Kelleher has also chipped in with vital scores. Mervue advanced to the final following a 3-1 home semi-final win over Wexford's North End United with two goals from Aaron Connolly and one from Colin Kelly ensuring an All Ireland final place.
That last four win was preceded by a 4-0 away win over Kildare Town in the quarter final, with Connolly hitting a hat-trick and Kelleher the other strike. High scoring home wins over Kilcornan FC (Limerick ) 7-2 and New Oak (Carlow ) 9-0 were achieved in the prior rounds along with wins over Castlebar Celtic 2-1, Hodson Bay (Athlone ) 8-2 and Benbulben FC (Sligo ) 3-1 in the opening three provincial rounds.
In the last four rounds captain Ronan Manning, a younger brother of Galway FC’s Ryan, has hit seven goals, while strike partner Aaron Connolly has registered eight and winger Kelleher has managed five goals.
Since qualifying for the national final Brennan and Browne’s side have captured a treble winning both the local Galway District League and cup double and also added the Connacht Cup title last Saturday week with a 3-1 win over Castlebar Celtic.
Their opponents on Sunday afternoon, St Francis, defeated hot favourites for this year’s competition, Belvedere FC, on penalties after a 1-1 to advance to the final. They had overcome another Dublin side, Stella Maris, 4-2 in the quarter final while they defeated Tramore FC 4-1 in the last 16.
Brennan and Browne will be hoping their side can continue to be as free scoring as they have been throughout a long season as they aim to add a fifth national title to the club’s honours list. It will be a tough challenge against a highly rated St Francis side.