Georgie Poynton celebrated his new two-year professional contract by grabbing both goals in Dundalk U19s’ 2-1 victory away to Mervue United in the Elite Qualifying Division on Sunday.
Mervue took a 47th minute lead through Paraic Cunningham before Laytown lad, Poynton, drew Dundalk level from the penalty spot three minutes later before heading an unstoppable winner in the 94th minute to secure Martin Connolly’s side all three points in the west.
The victory represented a positive end to a difficult week for the U19s. On Wednesday it was confIrmed that their quest for the U19 Northern Division title was over after Finn Harps were docked three points for playing an illegal player in their 1-1 draw with Derry City on February 5.
As a result, Derry City were awarded the three points, moving them four ahead of Dundalk and ensuring they were crowned Northern Division champions.
“The news that Finn Harps were docked the points was a real kick in the teeth for us”, said Connolly.
“It makes it even tougher to take knowing that it was the second time Harps have been deducted points this season.
“I’m really disappointed for the lads”, he continued. “Nothing is a certainty in football and we still had to beat Fanad United to win the Northern Division but at least it was in our own hands. For it to be taken away, off the field, is hard to take.”
On a brighter note, Connolly was delighted that Poynton had committed his future to the Lilywhites.
“Georgie turned 16 last September and has been fantastic for us”, he said.
“There has been some interest in him from clubs in the UK so we moved to protect ourselves and to protect him by signing him as a professional.
“The thing that’s great about Georgie is his attitude. He drives people on and I know that Stephen Kenny has been impressed by him. Stephen has a great record for improving and progressing players so Georgie is at the right club.”
The U19s play their third game of the Elite Qualifying Group when they face Limerick at Oriel Park this Saturday. Kick-off is at 1pm.
DUNDALK U19: Ryan Davis; Manny Kaguako, Paul Finnegan, Frank Osadebe, Calvin Murphy;Kevin Nolan, Georgie Poynton, Conor McDonald, Marifide Mantando (Cormac Boyle); Ciaran O’Connor, Craig Pentony (Paraic McGowan).