United cruise into last eight as Students fail repeat test


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

United cruise into last eight as Students fail repeat test United cruise into last eight as Students fail repeat test


Galway United 5

Keith Kelly at the Belfield Bowl

It was men against boys in every sense of the word in Belfield on Monday night as Galway United cruised into the quarter-finals of this year’s FAI Cup with a ruthless, dominant, and, quite frankly, beautiful display of football.

Two goals to the good when the original fixture was abandoned at half-time due to an unplayable pitch on Friday, the visitors doubled that advantage by the time the teams headed for the dressing rooms after the first 45 minutes of action on Monday.

The talk on Friday was if the second-half would go ahead due to the pitch – some wag wondered aloud on Monday if the second-half was in danger of going the same way because UCD would refuse to come back out, giving the thrashing they were subjected to in that opening half.

United were utterly unplayable – the home side were on the back foot for much of the half and were carved open time and again. They offered little in attack, with just two goal attempts in that first-half, neither of which drew a save from Brendan Clarke.

But make no mistake about it: Monday night was all about the excellence of United. Yes, the D4 side are cast adrift at the foot of the Premier Division table and the two sides are set to exchange places at the end of the season, but it was United’s brilliance that saw them carve out a four-goal lead at half-time.

The main man in that regard was Ronan Manning. The winger set up the first three United goals, before getting the goal his display deserved in first-half injury time to all but end the tie as he put in his best display, not only of this season, but possibly of his time in the league.

His flick put Wassim Aouachria clear on goal for the opening in the 5th minute; and he then rolled free-kicks to Dave Hurley in the 16th and 38th minutes for the Cork man to fire to the net, before capping a scintillating first-half performance with a 15-yard drive to render the second-half – if you’ll pardon the pun – academic.

Pictured: Ronan Manning gave a footballing exhibition in Belfield on Monday night, providing three assists before capping his performance with a goal.

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