Luxembourg referee Alain Durieux had long sounded the final whistle to end the meeting of the Republic of Ireland and Cyprus in the UEFA Under 19 Championships at the RSC on Saturday evening last when hat-trick hero Jayson Molumby was still posing for pictures with his family and friends.
It was one of those special nights when a local lad turned into the star of the show to captain his country to a magnificent win as his first-half treble was catalyst to the Irish success in front of a local crowd that was applauding one man.
He left the fray to loud applause with 74 minutes on the clock and there’s no doubting that he was the proudest lad in the stadium as he smiled when receiving the congratulations from his team manager Tom Mohan before taking his place in the dugout.
Speaking with pride after the game, the captain fantastic said, “That must be the best game of my career to date, certainly wearing an Irish jersey. It is always an honour to captain the team especially when we are playing here in Waterford and then to score three goals just added to the occasion.
“I was asked to play in a more forward role in this game compared to the match against Azerbaijan and that suited me. It gave me the chance to have more shots on goal and my first strike gave me confidence. I was told before the game that I would be taking the penalties if we got one or two and it was wonderful to net the second goal. Lee O’Connor did brilliantly for the third goal because his cross was inch perfect.
“It’s a great feeling to meet everyone from Cappoquin and I am delighted for my family and it’s brilliant to see them so proud tonight. However it’s not all about me. This was a game we just had to win and we did that and it sets up a big game against Serbia on Tuesday.
“If we beat them it puts us top of the group and that would mean an easier game in the next stage. The past two months for me have been incredible. It has all happened so quick. Breaking into the Brighton team was fantastic and now this happens. I’m delighted for a lot of people who have supported me since I was very young and I hope I am doing them proud.”
Murphy nets a brace in Moldova win
With all focus firmly on Cardiff as we went to print last night (Monday) as the Republic of Ireland tried to book a playoff spot to reach the World Cup in Russia with victory over Wales, Waterford’s Daryl Murphy was key to Martin O’Neill’s triumph at the Aviva Stadium against Moldova on Friday night last.
Murphy put the Irish in front inside the opening two minutes before heading home a second midway through the half after an excellent cross from Stephen Ward but he’ll be hoping that they can get the job done with success against Chris Coleman’s side.
Speaking to RTE after netting his brace, Murphy said, “It was nice to score twice and it’s brilliant. There was a bit of faith from the manager to start me in such a big game and I knew I had to produce and thankfully I took a few chances.
“It’s just hard work over the years and keeping believing in yourself. I came into this season scoring a few goals so the confidence was high coming here and once the manager gave me the nod, I needed to produce so I’m glad it paid off tonight.”
“It’s always nice to get an early goal especially in a game like this, you don’t want it dragging out and the longer the game goes on and it’s 0-0 then you start getting a bit restless. I was delighted with the second goal as well. It was nice, a great cross and I just timed it well really. I didn’t have to put too much power on it. It was all in the cross I just had to direct it and thankfully it went in.
“It probably wasn’t our best performance but I think the result was all that mattered tonight. We knew we needed to win, we’ve done the job, kept a clean sheet so we’re happy. We’ll see what happens, we’ll see what the manager thinks. I think it’s just a case of rest and recovery now and look to the big one.
“You just keep going. With age, you mature and you just realise that you need to keep working hard and working at the things you’re good at. Then, hopefully, it will all fall into place. I think I was always confident. As I’ve got older, I’ve put that to the side and realised that there’s no point dwelling on the past.”