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Knocknacarra FC and Mervue Utd bow out of FAI Junior Cup

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Knocknacarra FC and Mervue Utd bow out of FAI Junior Cup Knocknacarra FC and Mervue Utd bow out of FAI Junior Cup

Mervue United 2

Letterkenny Rovers         3

Mike Rafferty in Fahy’s Field

The concession of three set-piece goals was to cost Mervue United dearly as they made a 5th Round FAI Junior Cup exit in difficult conditions in Fahy’s Field on Saturday afternoon.

Twice they responded with equalisers in the opening half, but a third time was beyond them, though it was not for the want of trying as they dominated the second-half. However, they just could not find a way past outstanding visiting goalkeeper Blake Forkan, who performed heroics with a number of outstanding saves to keep his side ahead.

This was a contest Mervue United could have won: after taking an early lead just after the restart, the Donegal side were on the back foot thereafter, but Mervue United were unable to find that third qualiser as Forkan got in the way of everything on target, and in front of him Michael Gallagher, Dean McCarry, and Christy Connaghan afforded the protection required when the need arose.

The visitors got the perfect start with a 3rd minute goal when Joel Gorman drilled in a corner to the near post and Lee McMonagle applied the finish. Rovers looked very comfortable in the early exchanges and forced a number of corners, before United slowly got a foot into the game.

They bagged an equaliser on 14 minutes after Colin Kelly was taken down on the edge of the box, and the former Galway United player dusted himself down to find the top-corner from the subsequent set-piece.

The promptings of Kelly, Oisin Coyne, Lewis Waweru, Darren Collins, and Jason Molloy saw the home side lift their game, but just Coyne threatened to hit the target as solid defensive cover by Connaghan thwarted the effort.

The game took another turn on 31 minutes when Mervue conceded a soft goal. The game saw Conor Winn make his debut for the home side, and the former League of Ireland goalkeeper was badly at fault as Letterkenny made it 2-1. A Michael Gallagher free-kick from half-way was flicked on at the edge of the box by Dean McCarry, but with Winn having left his line in order to claim possession, he was in no man’s land as the ball flew past him and into an empty net.

Pictured: Stephen Walsh, Soccer Sports Star pictured with family members and friends at the Galway Sports Stars of the Year awards 2023 presentation banquet in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill. Seated, left to right: Susan Grant, Nicole and Stephen Walsh, Rita Walsh, and Caoilfhionn Keating. Back row: Maree and Bernie O’Connell, Paddy Grant, Niamh Thornton, Dean Cullinane, Karl O’Connell, Sean Cullinane and Mary Lardner.

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