MERVUE United, Hibernians and Corrib Celtic will represent the Galway League at the last 64stage of the FAI Junior Cup as they recorded weekend wins over Salthill Devon, Maree/Oranmore and Tuam Celtic respectively.
Last season, Cregmore/Claregalway blazed a trail for the girls’ game as they got to two national finals (winning one) and they are continuing to maintain the high standards they have set themselves, as aided by two Aoife Thompson goals, the U18 side qualified for the WFAI Cup semi final following a 2-0 home win over Birdhill FC on Sunday.
Denis Lydon and Keith Ward are just two of the familair auld faces still playing for Hibernians and it was this seasoned duo that rescued the home side as they came from behind to see off Maree/Oranmore in the third round of the FAI Junior Cup in Bohermore on Sunday.
Danny McDonagh, Cathal Walsh and Shane Browne are the other experienced players in a side populated in the main by players who have come up through the club’s schoolboy structure.
While Ward and Lydon might have got the crucial goals at one end, it was 16-year-old goalkeeper Rykelmy Rodrigues who turned out to be the real hero as his series of smashing saves kept his side in the game. The third quarter in particular turned out to be the visitors’ best spell, but on every occasion they threatened, Rodrigues was there to frustrate them.
With most goalkeepers, they are not perfect and the St Mary’s schoolboy was certainly not happy with his own handling as Maree/Oranmore took the lead on just four minutes. A free kick outside the box by Neil Greaney was saved by the custodian, but not secured and the inrushing James Callagan was following up to knock home the rebound and give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
In a contest that certainly did not set any standards for excellence, Maree threatened to add to their tally when Greaney tested Rodrigues with a shot from the edge of the box, before they missed a great chance to double the lead on 24 minutes.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.