Writes Ciaran Dineen
Carrigaline teenager, Mark O'Mahony, scored a hat-trick for Ireland this evening in their clash with Gibraltar as part of the U19 Euro Campaign, which saw the Boys in Green run out as 6-0 winners.
The Carrrigaline Community School student opened his account in the 12th minute of the game, beating the Gibraltar 'keeper with a header at the near post after an excellent cross from Sam Curtis, to put Ireland 1-0 up. The first half was a slightly stop-start affair in which the young Irish guns could not build on their early lead.
However, this would change in the second half and Ireland put their opponents to the sword, scoring five goals without reply. Mark's second goal was a well worked team goal, which started with a short-taken corner, before a neat ball across the box was met by an onrushing O'Mahony, who calmly finished into the bottom left corner of the net.
Mark would grab his hat-trick just three minutes later, coming in similar fashion to his second. Another short corner saw the ball played out to the edge of the box, with the subsequent cross being met by the Carrigaline star, who managed to find some space and slot home to put Ireland 3-0 up with 58 minutes gone.
O'Mahony could have added to his own personal tally, but was replaced on 61 minutes, with Head Coach, Tom Mohan keen to rest the striker ahead of Ireland's clash with Wales on Saturday coming.
In his absence, Ireland built on their lead as the game went on and ran out 6-0 winners by the time the full time whistle went. Mark, who has made several appearances for Cork City FC this year in their title bid for the SSE Airtricity League First Division, and promotion to the Premier Division ahead of next season, will be looking to make a similarly superb impression against Wales this weekend.
Best of luck to Mark and the Ireland team!