An entire squad of U14 heroes survived a scare to advance to the quarter finals of the Divisional Cup away to Barna/Furbo yesterday afternoon. Jonah Donnellan scored a last-gasp winner in the second period of extra time to deny a brave Div 2 Barna / Furbo side and prevent the game going to penalties.
Colemanstown were restricted to few enough chances by a really well-organised Barna / Furbo defence. The home side had the first chance through a free kick which just went wide of Cian Ruane’s right hand post. Luke Willams’ connected perfectly to David Walsh’s corner but just headed over. The breakthrough was made on 18mins after good work from Tommy Mellody on the right flank who released Cilly Fahey and although the defender had yards on Fahey, somehow Fahey stole the march, robbed his man and squared across to Jonah Donnellan who side-footed to the net. Fahey had a chance on 21mins after good work from Harry Mitchell & Donnellan who switched play to Fahey’s side of the field and with his swift pace he beat two defenders but the keeper saved well. Just on the half hour mark, David Walsh had a half chance from the left wing and Mellody from the right which failed to find the target. Ross Lally’s effort also fizzed wide after Harry Mitchell & Cillian Fahey were involved in the move. Cilly Fahey had the final attempt before half time when he got on the end of Jonah Donnellan’s delivery but trying to shake off the shackles of 2 defenders, the ball ran away from him and out wide. 1-0 Half time.
The management duo rejigged the team at half time with the introduction of Jason Rabbitte & Cathal Kennedy. The 2nd half was only 2mins old when Rabbitte saw his powerful drive well saved. Colemanstown added their second soon after when a quickly taken Ross Lally corner to Harry Mitchell got Jonah Donnellan in on the play and while his effort ricocheted off a defender; Rabbitte flashed the ball across to Tommy Mellody who pounced when offered such a chance. At this stage Colemanstown were well on top lording play in most quarters apart from the tight Barna/ Furbo defence line, although they took both goals well when they penetrated the back line. Johnny Keane & Eoin Keague added an extra dimension when introduced and immediately got stuck in. The hosts clawed one back after a handball from a Colemanstown defender following a dangerous delivery into the area from a free kick and the ref immediately pointed to the spot. Up stepped their No. 11 who dispatched the ball well leaving custodian Cian Ruane no chance. Gary Gill & Larry Murrajvos entered the fray to keep the momentum in Colemanstown’s favour. With 2 mins to play, Colemanstown were awarded a free kick for a high boot and while the free found the pacey Cilly Fahey, the defender’s timely interception stole the ball off his toe as he was about to shoot. Right at the death Fahey’s effort from the edge of the 18’ box was hit straight at the keeper. There was to be late drama as Barna/ Furbo won a corner which even saw their keeper pop up to the edge of the 18’ box in a bid to earn an equaliser and as the ball was defended, it fell to their keeper who swung in the delivery and with the ball bobbling around in the box; Colemanstown’s back line were hesitant in their defending, the hosts somehow scrambled the ball over the line in a crowded box to bring the game to extra time as the home crowd warmed to their endeavours. 2-2 after full time.
David Walsh had the first chance in extra time but his free kick drew a great diving save from the keeper. Cilly Fahey then had a pop but his effort went wide. The host’s keeper had to be at full stretch to keep out Eoin Keague’s effort and as the ensuing corner was whipped in by David a one handed save from the keeper kept out Jason Rabbitte’s powerful header. The subsequent corner saw Luke Williams head over the crossbar 8mins into the 1st half of extra time. At this stage the encounter was tight and tense but the Colemanstown lads were growing in confidence.
With the management clearly determined to avoid a penalty shoot-out Ciarán Keating & Jonah Donnellan were re-introduced in the 2nd half and as Ciarán did all the hard work in the middle of the field to find Donnellan; his piledriver from 30yards out found the top of the net to great applause with 2mins to play in extra time. Barna / Furbo tried hard in the final 2mins to re-ignite the game for them but Colemanstown’s defence held out. It was no more than they deserved for the entire team effort alone but will be happy to have come through this test as the game plan finally paid off.
Squad: Cian Ruane, Ciarán Keating, Diarmuid Ryan, Harry Mitchell, Luke Williams, Tommy Mellody, Jonah Donnellan, Ross Lally, David Walsh, Cillian Fahey, Jason Rabbitte, Johnny Keane, Cathal Kennedy, Eoin Keague, Larry Murrajvos, Gary Gill.