Colemanstown ‘A’ team dig deep yet again to advance in FAI Junior Cup.

You can re-live the adventure of the ‘A’ teams exhilarating performance in the FAI Cup tie vs. West Coast United on Sunday last through Ronan Geraghty’s match report while we wish best wishes & a speedy recovery to Jayo Finn on his recovery from a nasty facial injury sustained.

Colemanstown 4; West Coast United 3 (AET). Colemanstown snatched an extra time winner through Alo Finn on Sunday last in Letterfrack to move within one game of the national draw in the FAI Junior Cup. The early spells of the game were quiet with little in the way of goalmouth action as both the hosts West Coast United and Colemanstown probed to a certain degree as tackles were crunching throughout this physically demanding cup tie. West Coast are a tough, physical side who are in great form in the league so far and were first to exhibit some pressure as they hit the post on 30 mins while Colemanstown played well in spells albeit struggled to sustain any period of dominance.

On 38 mins Colemanstown lost the big physical presence of centre back Jason Finn to a nasty facial injury that later required a 12 hour stay in A&E and 8 stitches for his troubles. Thanks to West Coast for taking Jason to Clifden Westdoc for assessment. Get well soon Jayo. At least you won’t need to dress up for Halloween!!

The stop in play seemed to focus the Colemanstown minds as neat play between Gary Lally, Ray Moran and John O’Brien set up a chance for Tomas Flannery who not long after his arrival to proceedings fired a lovely half volley to the roof of the net and put Colemanstown 1 up. Moments later, Flan turned provider when his through ball sent John O’Brien straight through on goal but the West Coast keeper advanced smartly off his line to sneak the ball off his toe. Half time 1-0 to Colemanstown.

West Coast emerged with a new found belief after their half time team talk and they pushed for an equaliser early in the 2nd half while Colemanstown looked to play on the break with Dylan Grady, Stephen Walsh and John O’Brien tirelessly running at the Coast’s defence. 10 minutes into the 2nd half and a counter attack seen O’Brien race clear of the West Coast defence again; however, the keeper yet again got down smartly to push away the finish.

In a game which ebbed and flowed back and forth, it was the next 12 or so minutes that saw the first twist in the plot as West Coast scored three times to take control of the tie and looked to have the game put to bed. They turned home a loose ball from a corner before a strike from distance was followed minutes later by a free kick from the edge of the box and with 25 minutes to go the lads were suddenly left with an uphill climb and looking frustrated. Fresh legs were called for and with just over ten minutes to go one of those introductions, Sean Walsh saw his strike rebound off the post and nestle safely in the keeper’s hands when it could have so easily fallen back to Walsh to tap home.

The lads would have been forgiven for dropping their heads when that strike came so agonisingly close but the character of this squad was seen when they came from 1 down in their last league encounter to seal a 2-1 win. Possibly buoyed up by the non visibility of Jayo Finn on the pitch but rather in the prayer room in Westdoc the revival was to come to the fore yet again as the tide twisted in Colemanstown’s direction in the final 5 minutes. A free kick on the right by Ronan Geraghty arrived invitingly at the back post but with a near impossible angle Conor Jackson somehow guided it to the roof of the net to give a faint hope of another rally.

In injury time the lads drove forward and forced 3 or 4 corners in quick succession which Alo Finn was whipping menacingly into the area. The 4th corner saw two West Coast players rise to head the same ball and when it bounced away from their confusion the lively Stephen Walsh reacted quickest and arrowed an unstoppable strike to the West Coast net and force the tie into extra time. Jayo Finn’s prayers were answered! Colemanstown deserved to be still in the tie overall and defensively the back four of Stephen Walsh, Conor Jackson, Padraig Quirke and Ronan Carr did great work as the game got stretched and bodies were poured forward.

In extra time Colemanstown’s fitness levels offered a huge bonus and just 5 minutes in Flan got his second assist as he set Alo Finn clear down the left channel and Alo made no mistake as he fired his shot low to the keepers right and the comeback was complete. One or two half chances came in that 1st period of extra time as Colemanstown dominated but couldn’t extend the advantage. However some resolute defending and selfless running in attack seen Colemanstown through to the final whistle and safely into Round 4 albeit with a little early Halloween scare and lots of sore bodies for their troubles!

Man of the Match – Stephen Walsh who never stopped running all day and came up with the all important strike when it mattered most.

Squad: John Gormally, Stephen Walsh, Conor Jackson, Jason Finn, Ronan Carr, Dylan Grady, Ray Moran, Padraig Quirke, Gary Lally, Alan Finn, John O’Brien. Subs: Tom Flannery, Ronan Geraghty, Sean Walsh, Shane Lally, Mossy Carr, Jarlath Healy.