THOUGH Loughrea exited the FAI Junior Cup at the weekend and Mervue United advanced with ease, Athenry had a frustrating outing as their game with Tramore was abandoned at half time by the match official as he deemed the pitch was in an unsafe condition to continue.
While heavy rain fell overnight and indeed on Sunday morning, the condition of what is a soft pitch anyway, maybe deteriorated somewhat during the opening half, but to the surprise of all in attendance, referee Beachla Folen and his fellow officials had a quick chat at the break and obviously decided that with player welfare in mind, the ground was unplayable.
They firstly advised Athenry and then in a get together with the respective captains and managers a further debate ensued, before the referee confirmed his original decision to bring proceedings to a halt. The game has been rescheduled for Tramore on Sunday, December 16.
According to the FAI, the onus was on Athenry to have a suitable pitch ready for the game and, indeed, a back up if necessary and when the game was called off, they were deemed to be at fault and will now pay the price by having to travel next time.
FAI Junior Cup
The draw had pitted Loughrea against an Evergreen side that were beaten in the final two years ago and while matters started well, they eventually fell away in the second half as the home side prevailed by 6-2. Loughrea had made a terrific start as Bruno Henrique drilled a low effort into the bottom corner and they continued to create in a good opening half performanceas Darren Creaven and Mickey Lynch were denied by the woodwork.
However, the Kilkenny side struck twice before the break to lead by 2-1 at the interval, but just like they did in the opening half, Loughrea restarted well and Lynch set up Creaven to level matters and make a real contest of it. The visitors had more opportunities to take a firm grip on the game, but it was the home side who had more of a cutting edge about them as a quick four goal blast saw them pull away for a comfortable win.
Meanwhile, in Cork, Mervue United were always in command against Carragaline United as they registered a 7-1 win. Enda Curran (four), Jason Molloy (two) and Alex Smithz were all on the mark for the visitors in a one sided contest as they set up a place in the last 32.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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