Cobh Ramblers under 19 season came to an abrupt end as they were knocked out of the National League Cup after losing 1-0 to St Patricks Athletic in the quarter-final at St Coleman’s Park on Sunday afternoon.
A neat finish from Michael Cregan midway through the first half was enough to separate the sides and send the Dublin through to the semi-finals of the competition.
St Pats scraped into the quarter-finals as they finished fourth in the Northern Elite division just one point ahead of fifth-placed Dundalk.
But the visitors made the brighter start here as they had the game’s first attempt on goal but Callum Keane’s long-range effort was easily dealt with by Cobh keeper Conor Hogan.
Cobh had the majority of the possession but they struggled to create anything significant.
Instead, it was the Dubs who continued to look the most threatening as Sean Quinn headed Michael Cregan’s corner wide of the back post on the stretch before Cian Hughes had a glorious opportunity to give his side the lead after 11 minutes.
Callum Keane’s excellent hold-up play on the left allowed the midfielder to eventually pull the ball back towards the on rushing Cian Hughes.
Hughes’ excellent first touch took him away from his marker inside the penalty area but the attacker could only fire his strike straight at the keeper when through on goal.
It wasn’t until the 18 minute mark that Cobh finally had a sight at goal but Matthew Lambe’s powerful drive, which looked destined for the net, was superbly blocked by the recovering defence.
Pats also looked dangerous from set pieces and they ought to have scored from such an attack moments later.
Luke McNally’s header from a corner deflected just past the bottom right corner before the towering centre back was afforded another chance to score from the resulting corner, but his nod towards goal was denied by Ramblers’ Conor Hogan.
But Cobh’s resistance was finally broken after 25 minutes as Pats edged in front which their dominance had thoroughly deserved.
Michael Cregan spread the ball out towards Callum Keane on the right hand side and after composing himself, the winger returned a low cross to Cregan who expertly tucked the ball into the net at the near post.
Cobh responded but they were still unable to test the visiting goalkeeper as Lambe drilled an effort well wide from distance.
They had goalkeeper Conor Hogan to thank for preventing them from falling even further behind with the first half drawing to a close.
The Rambers number one produced a stunning save to somehow tip Ciaran Kelly’s close range header over his own cross bar to ensure his side only trailed by the minimum at the interval.
— Andrew Horgan (@AndrewHorgan) October 15, 2017
Manager Declan Coleman made two changes to his side at the break to try and add fresh impetus for the second period.
The home fans thought they had levelled just shy of the hour mark but Darragh Lowth’s shot following David Hurley’s pullback sailed just past the far top left corner.
That would prove to be as close as they would come to scoring as their final ball continued to let them down.
In the end, it was Pats who almost grabbed their second late on but Liam Brady saw his shot well saved when through on goal.
COBH RAMBLERS: Conor Hogan, Kajus Vitkevicius, Scott McCarthy, Gordon Walker, John Browne, Peter Callanan, Darragh Lowth, Matthew Lambe, David Hurley, Cian Leonard, Jaze Kabia.
Subs: Stephen O’Connor for Jaze Kabia (45), Stephen O’Leary for John Browne (45), Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh for Darragh Lowth (74).
ST PATRICKS ATHLETIC: Eric Donnelly, Paul Cleary, Ciaran Kelly, Lee Rock, Luke McNally, Jamie Lennon, Sean Quinn, Luke Heeney, Cian Hughes, Callum Keane, Michael Cregan.
Subs: Jason Grouse for Callum Keane (63), Neill Byrne for Cian Hughes (63), Liam Brady for Sean Quinn (75), Clinton Apos for Michael Creegan (86).
Referee: Jason Mannix.
Assistant Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan and Ricky Crean.