‘A’ Team advance in FAI Junior Cup

Read Niall Rohan’s match report from the ‘A’ Team’s FAI Cup tie with NUIG on Saturday last in a game that fulfilled all of its expectation in terms of excitement, a last minute equaliser by Colemanstown, a late winner in extra time…..

Colemanstown 4- NUIG 3 (AET) FAI Junior Cup
Dylan Grady’s extra time goal proved to be this highly competitive contest’s key score as Colemanstown advanced to the third round of the New Balance FAI cup on Saturday.

Little separated the sides in the opening 20 minutes with attacks at both ends proving fruitless. Sean Walsh and Damien Wynne came closest to getting Colemanstown off the mark. The students broke the deadlock after 24 minutes with a well taken goal, only to be cancelled out two minutes later with a Damien Wynne equaliser. NUIG converted a second on the half hour mark to put the visitors up 2-1 at the break. The resumption saw the visitors piling on the pressure, but a solid defence from Padraig Quirke and Jason Finn keeping them at bay. The introduction of Geordan Kenny and Dylan Grady shortly after half-time hoped to boost Colemanstown’s attacking threat. An NUIG free kick on 49 minutes somehow made its way across the goal mouth and bounced awkwardly in front of stand-in keeper Conal Doherty to find its way to the back of the net.

With the University side 3-1 up and full of confidence it looked like Colemanstown would be taking an early exit from this prestigious national competition. The team’s fighting spirit which was displayed in previous games broke through again in the 67th minute when Tomas Flannery finished calmly to put one between the sides. Further threats from Flannery, Kenny and the very industrious Grady couldn’t penetrate the NUIG defence until the 89th minute when Geordy Kenny found space in the 6 yard box after a goal mouth scramble to leave the keeper with no chance. NUIG almost spoiled the party at the final whistle after a fine shot from 25 yards out was expertly saved by Conal Doherty to send the tie to extra time.

Substitute Shane Lally had an early chance minutes into the extra period, but his left-footed strike was deflected narrowly wide. The all-important goal came deep into the second period of extra time when a Richie Lally free kick was delicately squared by Steven Rabbitt to the waiting Dylan Grady, who made no mistake with his finish.

 Every single Colemanstown United player played a part in this win. Richie and Gary Lally won the mid-field battle, with Alan Finn and Damien Wynne stretching the NUIG defence time and time again. Jason Finn, who played his best game this season, alongside Padraig Quirke, David Mullins and Niall Cunningham all gave solid performances.

Our bench ultimately proved the difference on the day with Geordan Kenny, Dylan Grady and the returning Steven Rabbitt all contributing to the win. It was great to see Ronan Carr back in action again after a recent lay off.

It was a fantastic win to finish off a memorable day for Colemanstown United Football Club, after the official opening of our second pitch, walkway and gym equipment by the FAI GM Noel Mooney, earlier that day.

Team: C Doherty, N Cunningham, J Finn, P Quirke, D Mullins, D Wynne, R Lally, G Lally, A Finn,  S Walsh, T Flannery. Subs: S Rabbitt, D Grady, G Kenny, S Lally, R Carr

Report by Niall Rohan, ‘A’ Team management