Luke Rudden’s deadly hat-trick fired Finn Harps into the SSE Airtricity Under-15 League semi-finals.
Finn Harps 5 Bohemians 0
Rudden scored twice in as many minutes in the second half to confirm an impressive passage into the last four for Kevin McHugh’s side.
After captain Charlie White opened the scoring early on, Rudden took over with a treble that takes his tally for the season to an impressive 15 in just 11 matches, but there was still time for the excellent Conor Black to add a fifth for good measure.
Harps had been in scintillating form all season. Since losing 3-2 to Sligo Rovers on the term’s opening night in August, Harps went unbeaten to top their group, scoring 36 goals in the process.
Rudden has been to the fore and it was a similar story here as the Inishowen schoolboy twisted the knife into Bohs.
The lead goal was one of those that was once the bread and butter for McHugh in his time as a penalty box predator.
Adam McCaffrey’s corner from the stand side was popped back across goal where skipper White was lurking with intent. The Harps centre-back showed superb poise to plant a controlled volley firmly into the corner past Stephen Damian the Bohemians goalkeeper.
The finish from White, who was worn Northern Ireland’s colours on the big stage, drew a nod of approval from his manager and it helped settle any nerves that might have lingered in the Harps young guns.
For Bohemians, the goal was certainly avoidable. In the first instance, the corner had arrived when Damian could only palm what appeared a tame header from Stephen Black around his post.
Harps held away in those opening moments and looked assured with and without the ball.
Rudden, as might be expected from a man with 12 goals to his name already, didn’t lack ambition when he went for an ambitious 15th minute lob that dropped too late to trouble the ‘keeper. Rudden, though, would soon find his killer touch.
Bohemians, who finished second in their group, found chances limited and Harps net-minder Adrian McLaughlin comfortably held onto a long-range Andreas Lopez attempt, while Lopez failed to get anything sufficient as he stretched in vain to a shot-cum-cross by Jamie Whelan.
Harps briefly lost the hold of their composure, but when Rudden doubled the lead it already felt as if the curtain could fall.
Again, Bohs didn’t deal proper with a McCaffrey corner. Whelan tried to hack clear, but Rudden managed to turn home from close range.
McLaughlin did well to keep the sheet clean when he tipped onto the crossbar from Samuel Ayoola, whose shot rose up and seemed destined for the roof of the net just after the re-start.
But Harps smelt blood and Black, after picking up a weak kick-out by Damian, squared for Rudden, who made it 3-0.
It was a carbon copy just 90 seconds later, Black centring and Rudden cooly rounding a defender before blasting high to complete his hat-trick.
Black deservedly got on the scoresheet himself, making no mistake with a crisp finish to put the cherry on top.
Finn Harps: Adrian McLaughlin (Patrick McGarvey 66), Fionnan Coyle (Kieran Tobin 70), Kelan Collier, Charlie White, Stephen Black (Domhnall Mac Giolla Bhríde 65), Dylan Woods (Nathan Logue 70, Jamie Doherty (Jack Murphy 72), Carlos O’Reilly (Daniel Gildea 63), Luke Rudden (Jamie McDaid 66), Adam McCaffrey (Carlos O’Reilly 80), Conor Black.
Bohemians: Stephen Damian (Moran Griffin 63), Thomas Considine, Sean Roughan, Joshua Daly (Craig Maguire 72), Warren Curran, Adam Vernon (Dylan Cody 72), James McMahon-Carr (Eoin Gavin 48), Jamie Whelan, Samuel Ayoola, Alex Egan (Ryan Reape 72), Andreas Lopez (Ethan Delaney 48).
Referee: Marty McGarrigle.Tags: