It was a good weekend for our men’s academy with two of the three teams advancing in their respective cup competitions while our MU15 side opened their Phase Two Tier Two section with a brilliant win.

Donnelly wins it at the death for MU20s…

Klub Kildare 1-2 Dundalk FC MU20
EA SPORTS MU20 Enda McGuill Cup First Round

Substitute Aaron Donnelly’s stoppage-time winner sent our MU20 team into the second round of the Enda McGuill Cup against Klub Kildare in Naas on Saturday.

Following Mark Griffin’s departure to Newry City, WU19 head coach Jason McConville stepped in to take charge of the side and the Lilywhites got off to a dream start when Muhammad Haris broke the deadlock with a good finish with nine minutes played.

The hosts restored parity on the half-hour through Michael Gnutek but Dundalk dug in, battled hard against a physical side and controlled large parts of the second half and they got their just rewards when Donnelly, who replaced Luke Povall in the latter stages, scored in the second minute of time added on.

DUNDALK FC MU20: Samuel Safaie, Luke Povall, Benjamin Fagbemi, Vincent Leonard, Tom McLoughlin, Scott Brady, Conor O’Gorman, Luke Mulligan, Muhammad Haris, Fionn McNamara, Aidan Russell. Subs: Jack O’Flaherty, Davin O’Connor, Cian Spaight, Stephen Brady, Aaron Donnelly, Callum Bony.

…and follows it up with the winner for the MU17s

Dundalk FC MU17 2-1 Galway United
EA SPORTS MU17 Mark Farren Cup first round

Less than 24 hours after scoring the winner for the MU20 side in their Enda McGuill Cup win over Klub Kildare, Aaron Donnelly did likewise for our MU17 team to shoot them into the second round of the Mark Farren Cup at the expense of Galway United.

Both sides went at it in an excellent cup tie at Oriel Park with Donnelly proving to be a constant menace to the Galway backline throughout with his hard-running pace and power.

Dundalk took the lead in the 16th minute when Rhys O’Hare found Nico Lovrekovic, who made no mistake and Donnelly made it a dream weekend when he added a second in the 51st minute; O’Hare again provided the assist.

The visitors pulled one back through Jacob Carroll with 18 minutes to play and they went in search of an equaliser but a combination of some fantastic defending and tireless running by the hosts kept them at bay and Dundalk deservedly booked their place in round two.

DUNDALK FC MU17: John Markham, Rhys O’Hare, Sam Kierans, Roan Hickey, Sean Spaight, Nico Lovrekovic, Liam McCabe, Aaron Donnelly, Cian Spaight, Stephen Brady, Calum Woods. Subs: Jay Madigan, Shay Casey, Fahd Nil-Monney, Shay Hoey, Karl Stenson Browne, Oisin Smyth, TJ Murray.

Six of the best for free-scoring MU15s

Dundalk FC MU15 6-0 Mayo
EA SPORTS LOI Academy MU15 League Phase 2 Tier Two North

Our MU15 team opened their Phase Two Tier Two North section with a brilliant 6-0 win over Mayo at Oriel Park on Saturday afternoon.

Shane Grimes’s side produced a solid display and controlled things from the off, playing some attractive football and dominating possession.

After 37 minutes of knocking at the door, the Lilywhites made the breakthrough when Shea Savage made it 1-0.

Further strikes from Jordan Vocella, Calum Woods (2), Mikey Cummins and Shaun Platt followed while the contribution of Pauric Renaghan should also be mentioned, the full-back contributing with a hat-trick of assists.

“It was a great display,” said Grimes. “Calum scored two from centre-back, Mikey one from full-back, Jordan and Shaun were in midfield and Shea was up front so the goals were shared around the team which was brilliant to see.

“We only had 13 players available due to injuries and holidays but the lads pulled together and got our Phase Two section off to a great start.”

DUNDALK FC MU15: Shayne O’Byrne, Mikey Cummins, Alex Gaughran, Pauric Maguire, Calum Woods, Jordan Vocella, Ethan Deegan, Shaun Platt, TJ Molloy, Shea Savage, Ryan Campbell. Subs: Aaron O’Donoghue (GK), Callum Delahan, Shaun McGeary.

Zivkovic hits hat-trick in MU14 thriller

Finn Harps 3-3 Dundalk FC MU14
Eddie Wallace Cup Group D 

On Saturday, our MU14 side played out a six-goal thriller with Fionn Harps in their final Eddie Wallace Cup Group D fixture in Killygordon.

A quickfire brace from Adam Zivkovic put Cian Mulligan’s side 2-0 up with 20 minutes played, his first a left-footed half-volley and the second a similar effort with his right foot but Odhran McHugh’s double pulled Harps back on level terms with half an hour played!

Zivkovic completed his hat-trick to edge Dundalk back in front when he left fly with his left foot from the edge of the box but the hosts, who saw a penalty saved by Dundalk goalkeeper Marcel Gora, took a share of the spoils thanks to Lee McDaid’s 51st-minute strike.

Women’s Round-Up

Elsewhere, our WU19 team suffered an off day on Sunday when they were beaten at home by Bohemians in their final WU19 Cup Group B game. It came 24 hours after our WU17 team also fell to defeat at home to Shamrock Rovers to exit the cup.