Larkin’s late penalty proves a winner for Mervue United

West United's James Ryan is challenged by Corrib Celtic's Sean O'Flaherty (left) and Stephen Moylan during the clubs' Premier Division clash at South Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaugghnessy.
West United's James Ryan is challenged by Corrib Celtic's Sean O'Flaherty (left) and Stephen Moylan during the clubs' Premier Division clash at South Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaugghnessy.

Mervue United   4

St Bernard’s        3

St Bernard’s might be Premier Division champions, but as to be expected everyone wants to knock them off their pedestal and at Fahy’s Field on Sunday, two late goals deprived them of victory.

This was a good open contest in which the Abbeyknockmoy visitors took an early advantage, before Mervue United struck back to lead by 2-1 at the interval. The resumption saw a quick response by Bernard’s as two cracking goals by Craig Kennedy and Matty Finn put them 3-2 in front. However, it wasn’t to end there as the home side struck twice late on to snatch the verdict.

St Bernard’s were almost at full strength with the Monivea-Abbey footballers back in action and this reflected in their performance. However, they did not help their own cause with their 5-4-1 formation.

Having trailed at the break, St Bernard’s got two smashing goals to take the lead, but instead of pushing on and securing the win, they retreated and were punished accordingly. At their best, their flowing football makes them a match for anyone, but their cautious safety first methods do them no favours.

The visitors made the perfect start when central defender Darren Finn headed in a Matty Finn corner. That lead didn’t last long as their rearguard was caught napping by a quick free kick and an alert Barry Moran availed of the chance to fire home and tie up matters.

The home side included a number of former Galway United players like Derek O’Brien, Ciaran Foley, Jason Molloy, Alan Murphy and Moran and all were crucial to the home success. They took the lead before the break when Foley headed on a clearance from goalkeeper Brian O’Donoghue and again Moran displayed his predatory instincts to finish past Ralph.

St Bernard’s responded with two terrific goals on the restart. On 56 minutes, a smart pass by Eoghan Roche set Shane King away, but when his effort came back off a post, Craig Kennedy crashed home the rebound for the equaliser. They quickly made it 3-2 when Matty Finn fired home from 25 yards, after a Jason Finn corner was cleared to him outside the box.

While he had a torrid time dealing with O’Brien at times, young Jamie Finn enjoyed a good game at right full and he combined with Kennedy to set up Colin Tracey in front of goal, but he sliced what was not an easy chance over the crossbar from eight yards.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.