Goalkeeper Aaron Connolly provided most of the heroics for West United as the Premier Division side did just about enough to see off Maree/Oranmore 3-2 in a penalty shootout, after the sides had finished level at 3-3 in Connacht Junior Cup action on Sunday afternoon.
The city side appeared to be strolling towards victory when goals by Jimmy Jennings and Eoghan Dooley had them two up, but a series of missed opportunities and good goalkeeping by Ronan Tully kept the contest alive, and a Steve Matthews brace sent the contest to extra time.
West United again seized the initiative as Dooley scored his second of the game to make it 3-2, before Maree/Oranmore responded with another equaliser through a Reggie Ahiable header.
Some of the finishing in the penalty shootout belittled what was a fine game, as both sides missed three in a row at one stage. It was here that West United ’keeper, Aaron Connolly, played such a crucial part as he made four saves, while his opposite number Tully kept out one effort, as West prevailed 3-2 in the shoot-out.
Conor Murray scored the winning penalty in sudden death, with Shane Keogh and Keith Lee also finding the range for the visitors, while just Ahiable and Adam Quinn could respond for the home side. Rodney Grant’s charges face a trip to Mayo for the last 16, where they will meet Straide & Foxford.
Corrib Celtic came from behind to see off Castlerea Celtic 4-1 and will travel to meet Ballinasloe Town in the next round. It was the home side who took the lead courtesy of a Peter Farrell goal, before efforts by Ciaran Duggan with a header and an own goal following a Chris Greaney corner put Celtic in command. Further efforts by Greaney and Laurence Forde eventually comfortably secured their passage.
Ballinasloe Town were always in command as they saw off Moore United 3-1, with David Cullen, Owen McCormack, and David Grehan all on the mark for the home side.
Corrib Rangers received a walkover from Ahascragh United and will be at home to Aughannagh Celtic in the Third Round; while two other Galway sides taking to the roads will be St Bernard’s and Loughrea, who head to Mayo to face stiff tasks against Claremorris and Castlebar Celtic.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.