Grangevale 2 Hibernians 2
GRANGEVALE and Hibernians shared the points in what was a cracking League 2 encounter at the Mayfield United all-weather facility over the weekend.
And in the overall scheme of things, a draw was the fairest result at the end of the day. These two sides produced some cracking football and we saw a couple of top-drawer saves from Grangevale’s talented goalkeeper, Ryan Kennedy.
Grangevale found themselves in front when Timmy Hayes drilled home from the spot following a foul inside the box on Ger Gardiner in the sixth minute.
An immediate response from Hibs then saw Canice Caffrey lifting a snap-shot from distance narrowly over.
Hibs continued to press with Darragh O’Sullivan skewing wide from 20.
Ger Gardiner found space for himself on the right flank before lifting a cross that looked destined for Eric Compagno, but the forward just could not make proper contact.
But, on 28, it was all square once again when a terrific strike from Canice Caffrey soared into the top corner, despite Ryan Kennedy getting a touch to it with his fingertips. Minutes later; Ger Gardiner slips a neat one on for Timmy Hayes, but the Grangevale skipper could not get enough on this effort to trouble Adam Mullins.
When play shifted to the other end, Canice Caffrey struck a crisp effort that saw Ryan Kennedy to ever so well when he tipped over at the expense of a corner.
A second opportunity fell for Caffrey and once again, the forward rifled an unstoppable thunderbolt into the top corner to make it 2-1 to Hibs on 40 minutes. Hibs almost increased their tally just minutes before the break when Caffrey collected from Darragh O’Sullivan before drilling agonisingly wide of the far post.
Both sides cancelled each other out over the first ten minutes of the second period with little or no opportunities arising until Hibs’ Darragh O’Sullivan controlled before firing low past the upright.
And after Sean Fenny rifled wide with a decent effort, it was honours even once again when a pin-point pass from Timmy Hayes reached Phillip Sweetnam to guide home with aplomb on 73 minutes. What a save we saw next then from the Grangevale keeper.
From a free kick, Luke Mullins rose unattended to power his header goalwards — only to be denied by Ryan Kennedy who showed cat-like reflexes before brilliantly tipping over.
Another glorious chance fell for Hibs when an exquisite early ball from Simon McGarry played in Alan McCarthy, but he steered it just past the far upright.
Grangevale pressed after that with John Barry missing a glorious opportunity before Ryan Mealy fired narrowly wide at the other end, but in the end, it finished honours even which was a fair result.
GRANGEVALE: Ryan Kennedy, John Barry, Aaron Baldwin, Diarmuid O’Neill, Ben Jenkins, James Kelleher, Phillip Sweetnam, David Barrett, Ger Gardiner, Eric Compagno, Timmy Hayes.
Subs: Sean Fenny for Eric Compagno (69), Colin McKeown for Timmy Hayes (82).
HIBS: Adam Mullins, Senan Andrews, Gary Prout, John Burke, Terence O’Sullivan, Luke Mullins, Aaron Hickey, James Hayes, Ryan Mealy, Canice Caffrey, Darragh O’Sullivan.
Subs: Alan McCarthy for Aaron Hickey (27), Simon McGarry for Terence O’Sullivan (74).
Referee: Brendan O’Regan.