It was a massive comeback and result in the FAI Junior Cup for the A team on Saturday vs Premier league side Hibernians.
The torrential rain on Saturday meant the game had to be played in Kiltullagh & thanks to Kiltullagh for making their astro available at such short notice. The change of venue did not have any negative impact though as the lads started the game well on top with Richie Lally, Thady Moran and Padraig Quirke having a strong foothold in midfield. The conditions worsened midway through the first half with a huge blustering wind favoring Hibs. This changed things drastically and Hibs took the lead in the 20th minute with a quality first time finish into the bottom corner. A second Hibs goal followed after another neat finish. The lads got through the remainder of the first half without conceding again and regrouped at the break.
The weather settled quite a bit during the interval and Hibs started the second half very well. Some good defensive work from Jack Bellew, Sean Hardiman and Jason Finn was needed to keep the tie alive. Our midfield then started to get back on top and some good attacking work down the right side resulted in a corner. Geordan Kenny whipped in the cross and Sean Hardiman met it at the back post with his cushioned side foot volley finding the back of the net. 60 minutes gone and very much game on now. The lads kept the attack going and waves of pressure built on the Hibs defence. Damien Wynne’s dead ball delivery had been a constant threat and his corner resulted in a scramble in the box and a penalty was given for a clear handball. Club captain Richie Lally stepped up to the spot and he calmly sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 2-2.
Colemanstown kept pressing forward and their efforts were rewarded when a free kick by Damien Wynne, from the corner of the 18 yard box, was too hot to handle for the Hibs keeper. 3-2 Colemanstown after 83 minutes. Some heroics from Tom Broderick in goal were then needed as Hibs pushed for the equaliser. One save in particular from a close range header in the dying stages was absolutely top class. Gary Lally then made an amazing solo run beating three defenders and he forced a great save from the Hibs keeper to keep them in it. Hibs tried their best to force extra time but our lads just would not be denied on the day.
Jason Finn and Sean Hardiman were so solid at the centre of the defence with Jack Bellew and Damien Wynne both excellent in the full-back positions. Tom Broderick was fantastic in goal and in shocking weather conditions too. Thady Moran, Padraig Quirke and Richie Lally really won the battle in the midfield vs their Premier division opponents. Gary Lally worked tirelessly all day up front and his quality along with Geordan Kenny and Mossy Carr kept their defenders uneasy. Danny Masterson and Shane Lally were introduced in the closing stages and both of them contributed hugely to the win, with some vital interceptions.
The whole squad celebrated the final whistle including unused substitutes and players unavailable on the day. A brilliant win for the squad and onto the third round of the FAI Junior Cup. Match report by David Mullins