Smith and Black hit target in semis’ win over Colga

Colga 0

Maree-Oranmore 2

By Mike Rafferty in Clarinbridge

MAREE-Oranmore have qualified for the Connacht Junior Cup final for the first time in their history as goals in each half in Clarinbridge on Sunday eased them into a decider with Castlebar Celtic at the end of the month.

For most of this semi-final, they were the better side as a stunning strike by Luke Smith gave them an interval advantage, before Malachy Black sealed the outcome in the last minute with a close range second. lIttle had seperated the sides in two previous league meetings, with the first game ending level at 2-2, before Maree-Oranmore won a more recent contest by 3-2.

On the splendid new Astro in Kilcornan, it was the visitors who were rewarded as they offered the greater attacking threat with the promptings of Kacper Zatonski and Ben Costello keeping them on the front foot. They certainly challenged young James Murphy in the Colga goal and the replacement for the injured Mark Greaney emerged with flying colours.

On the opposite end of the park, the Colga build up was slow and ponderous in the opening half as they rarely troubled ‘keeper Galius Babonas. The resumption saw somewhat of an improvement, but they got few chances to impress against a solid visitors back four. However, matters might have been different if a Tom Daly equaliser on 80 minutes wasn’t ruled out for offside. It was a difficuly afternoon for the young striker who has proven his ability to score goals, but on this occasion there was no ammunition provided for him to find the net.

While both sides were content to pass the ball about in the early exchanges, it was Maree-Oranmore who did so with greater speed and purpose and they almost struck twice in the early exchanges. Firstly, it took some good defensive cover by Liam Corcoran to block an Ethan McAuley shot, before the central defendwer then left a back pass to ‘keeper Murphy short, but the custodian averted the danger with a quick advance to keep out Costello’s shot.

Pictured: Kevin Fox of Corrib Celtic on the ball as Aaron Mannion of Knocknacarra FC gives chase during the clubs’ Championship clash at Cappagh Park. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.


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