Mullingar Athletics U10 Hawks entertained Birr Town in Gainstown on Saturday in the MSL Bowl Cup Competition. Everybody was looking forward to Birr Towns’ visit, as the teams had not played each other previously this season and both teams were going very well in the group phase of the Bowl Cup Competition.
The early stages of the match showed why Birr Town were doing so well, as they proved to be a very good and well organised team. During this period, both teams were feeling each other out, with Mullingar Hawks defence of Goalkeeper Mikee Weir, Tom Daly, Enrikas Siliauskas and in particular Eoin Meehan keeping it tight at the back. Meanwhile in midfield, there was a great battle going on between Mullingar Hawks Charlie Foy, Sean Plunkett and Sam Connaughton and their opposite numbers.
As the half progressed, Mullingar Hawks attackers Dylan Brown and Captain Robert Hogg started coming more into the game and pressurising the Birr Town defence. In the tenth minute of the first half, Mullingar Hawks made the vital break through. The goal came from good work between Sean Plunkett and Dylan Brown, which lead to Charlie Foy being played in. Charlie took his chance coolly, his third goal of this cup competition, giving Mullingar Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The rest of the first half saw the action swing from one end of the pitch to the other. On a few occasions, Mullingar Hawks got a bit stretched with their midfield caught out of position, but the commanding Eoin Meehan at centre half ensured that Birr Town had no joy. The half time whistle sounded with Mullingar Hawks enjoying a slender 1-0 lead.
Mullingar Hawks started the second half on the front foot. Captain Robert Hogg was combining very well with the strong running Robert Clinton, who with the help of Sean Hayes was stretching Birr Town down the left hand side. In the middle of midfield, Michael McLoughlin took command, linking many of Mullingar Hawks own attacks and constantly breaking up Birr Town moves. He was nearly rewarded for all his good work, when his powerful shot from outside the area was pushed over the bar by the excellent Birr Town Goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, Louis Willems was having his best game for Mullingar Hawks this season, with both his tenacious defence and his releasing of midfielder Michael Moloney along the right wing. Michael in turn was combining well with attacker Mark Sugrue. It was from this combination, that Mullingar Hawks’ second goal came 10 minutes into the second half. Michael played Mark in, and Marks powerful shot at goal was driven to the back of the net, by the retreating defender beyond the helpless Birr Town Goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Mullingar Hawks continued to enjoy more of the play for the remainder of the second half. Eoin Meehan, Sean Plunkett, Sam Connaughton, Louis Willems and Captain Robert Hogg kept it very tight at the back. Mikee Weir was only called upon once, when he made an excellent save from a Birr Town indirect free kick from inside his own box.
As the final whistle sounded, Mullingar Hawks celebrated this excellent win. They knew that they had won a very tight match against a very good Birr Team. They had also extended their unbeaten run in the Bowl Cup Competition. Birr Town can take some consolation from the fact, that they had contributed equally to a great game of football and an extremely competitive match.