Galway United 3
(AET – Cork won 4-2 on pens)
HAVING secured victory in their Aitricity League U17 Cup quarter-final on penalties against St Patrick’s Athletic the previous week, it was the turn of Galway United to suffer in the shootout in Sunday’s semi-final at Eamonn Deacy Park.
The home side came from behind twice in a cracking contest between two teams well tutored and it was only in the penalty contest that Galway lost their way against a good Cork outfit.
After Hakeem Ryan and Liam Milner slotted home the opening penalties, it quickly became advantage Galway as goalkeeper Mark Greaney saved the effort of Douwe Van Sinderen and when Aidan Halloran converted his effort, it put the home side 2-1 up.
However, that was as good as it got for Alan Murphy’s charges as Dale Holland, Rory Doyle and Dean Leahy all scored thereafter for Cork, while it was the turn of the visitors’ custodian Alan Kelleher to shine. Smart saves to keep out the efforts of Caoilfrainn O’Dea and Cathal Coyne saw the visitors prevail by 4-2 in the shootout and set up a final meeting with Bohemians.
Defeat aside, it was a good campaign for Galway United at this level as they advanced from their group to qualify for the knockout stages. Sure, the heartbreak of losing in such a manner was difficult for the players who were devestated afterwards and it was to the credit of the large crowd who stayed behind to give them a standing ovation as they left the pitch.
Early indications gave little impression that Galway would survive that long in the contest as Cork looked to be far the sharper side and it was only a combination of strong defending and the goalkeeping of Mark Greaney that kept them in the game in the opening quarter.
Smart saves thwarted the impressive Cian Murphy on number of occasions and if the striker did not hit the target every time, he went very close on a number of occasions.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.