St Michael’s 2
Mervue United 1
For the second year in succession Mervue United exited the FAI Junior Cup from a winning position, as a 10-man Tipperary side secured a second half winner to dismiss the Galway side at the last 16 stage.
Last season they conceded two late goals before losing on penalties at home against Newmarket Celtic, but while this occasion was different, the sense of loss must also be difficult to take. Sure, both defeats were against some of the better teams in Junior football, but that was something a very experienced Mervue side should have been able to handle.
They made the perfect start when leading scorer Enda Curran headed them in front on 7 minutes and while they looked comfortable in their surroundings, they struggled to break down an impressive home back four.
St Michael’s went close to an equaliser, but a smart Colm Power save denied Jimmy Carr before the home side struck finally got back on level terms on 40 minutes when John Connery finished from close range after an initial Shane Ryan shot was blocked in the box.
Connery blotted his copybook seconds later when he collected a straight red card for an off the ball incident to see the home side reduced to 10 men.
Mervue tried to take an immediate advantage of the situation, but goalkeeper Adrian Walsh made two smart saves to thwart Jason Molloy and Barry Moran as the sides remained tied at 1-1 at the break.
The Galway side never took advantage of the situation in the second-half, as the home outfit never looked like they were at a numerical disadvantage. Chances continued to be at a premium for the visitors, as the front two of Curran and Moran were given few opportunities to impress.
Colm Power made another smart stop to deny Shane Ryan, before the home side struck for the winner on 78 minutes, when a Carr run and cross set up David Slattery to make it 2-1 with a left footed finish.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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