Monday Aliwoyi launches an attack for Duleek.
St Kevin's Boys 4, Duleek 2
So near yet so far. The first side from the Meath & District League to reach a Leinster Junior Cup final Duleek had already created a little piece of soccer history even before they took the field for Sunday's showdown at Whitehall.
They had come through an arduous campaign to make it to the big day, but the ultimate prize was to prove elusive as St Kevin's Boys claimed the spoils in front of a crowd of about 400.
They didn't have a whole lot to cheer about in the opening half as the Dublin side, who were practically playing a home game, went 2-0 up inside the opening 12 minutes.
It looked like the Meath side were facing the prospects of a hefty defeat, but it didn't turn out like that as Duleek dug in and for a brief spell in the second-half looked like they might get back on level terms.
The mere fact that they hauled themselves back into contention with goals from Noel Burke and Paddy Coates says a lot for their fighting spirit and morale because St Kevin's should have had this wrapped up at the break.
Duleek simply didn't show for the opening 45 minutes as the Dublin side, boosted by four amateur international players, zipped the ball around with neat, precise passes.
There was only 44 seconds on the clock when St Kevin's grabbed the opener. The ball was swung into the box by St Kevin's centre-back Conor Dillon from a throw in. Duleek failed to clear and Alan Talbot fired home from close range.
The second arrived after Duleek were unable to deal with a corner. The ball bobbled around the box and Graham Sullivan finished.
It stayed 2-0 at the break and then, out of the blue, Duleek got themselves in the frame on 52 minutes.
Graham Conway fired over a corner. Brian Murphy headed the ball back across the box from the far post and there was Burke to slot home from close range. The roar from the Duleek fans could be heard back in east Meath.
The problem for the MDL outfit was that they conceded immediately from the kick-off. They needed to settle and push on for an equaliser. Instead St Kevin's grabbed a third again from the pacy, diminutive Talbot.
Duleek complained bitterly that one of their men was fouled in the lead up to the goal. Their pleas fell on deaf ears.
All afternoon Monday Aliwoyi was a busy presence at the heart of the Duleek engine room. His strength in the tackle and ability to use the ball was a big factor in keeping his team in the game.
With 65 minutes played Aliwoyi once again won possession in midfield. He delivered a neat pass to Burke who in turn threaded the ball to Coates and he finished superbly.
However, nine minutes later it was all over as St Kevin's Boys grabbed a fourth from Stephen Larkin, a long ball unlocking the Duleek defence.
Just before the end Murphy forced a good save from the St Kevin's Boys goalkeeper.
While Duleek lost the final they created a piece of history getting there.
Duleek - K Martin; P Dowd, B Murphy, J Flaherty, G Conway, S Kennedy, M Aliwoyi, T Andrews, P Connor, P Coates, N Burke. Subs - C Brodigan for Connor, R Clarke for Kennedy, J Martin for Burke all 80 mins.
St Kevin's Boys - A Hannon; P McMillan, C Dillon, R Carrig, F Matthews, L Dunne, A Murphy, A Connor, S Larkin, G Sullivan, A Talbot. Subs - B Turley for Murphy 77mins; S Higgins for Connor 88m; C Burke for Larkin 91m.
Referee - Emmanuel Rogers (Dublin).