St Mary’s 1 Blarney United 1
(St Mary's win 5-4 on penalties)
IT took extra time and penalties for St Mary’s to book their place in the next round of the Skecher’s U16 National Cup at the expense of Blarney United at Mary’s Park last Sunday morning.
It was a unique occasion for the Doherty family and the twins Dylan and Craig.
Dylan lined out for the Saints while Craig played for Blarney United.
The Saint’s will count themselves lucky to be going into the next round, as they were outplayed for large periods of the game, and can thank keeper Ross Cronin as he pulled off some excellent saves during the game. Both sides went in at halftime deadlocked 0-0.
Blarney then took a 1-0 lead through Cameron Lynch midway through the second half but missed some excellent chances to kill off the game which would come back to haunt them later in the game.
Dan McSweeney then popped up with two minutes remaining in the game to equalise for the Saints and bring the game into extra time. Blarney forced the issue in the extra period with chances from Craig Doherty and Billy O’Sullivan, only for Cronin in the Saints' goal to keep them at bay.
It’s always a tough way to go out of any competition by penalties, but the Saints' Sam Cronin kept his nerve to put Cian Jacobs the wrong way after Blarney’s Doherty missed his spot-kick to send his team into the next round 5-4.
Both teams struggled in the opening 30 minutes with very few chances in front of goal. Blarney had the majority of possession, but their final pass was letting them down as both teams went in at halftime 0-0.
The visitors made the brighter start to the second half forcing some excellent saves from Ben Moynihan in the Saint’s goal. Blarney took a deserved lead in the 66th minute when Cameron Lynch low drive nested in the corner of the net.
Moynihan in the Mary's goal kept his team in the game with some wonderful saves, and in the 88th-minute sub Dan McSweeney headed home an unlikely equaliser to bring the game into extra time.
The extra periods didn’t produce any goals, with the game being settled by a penalty shootout.
ST MARY’S: Ross Cronin, Ben Moynihan, PJ O’Donovan, Adam Higgins, Evan Keating, Joe Mulcahy, Robert Docherty, Sam Cronin, Dylan Doherty, Shane Gosling, David Culley, Jamie Conway.
Subs: Dan McSweeney, Kevin McCoy.
BLARNEY UNITED: Cian Jacobs, Cathal McCarthy, Joe Bailey, Oisin O’Sullivan, Eoghan Knapp, Ruairí O’Connell, Ryan Bradburn, Craig Walsh, Craig Doherty, Gavin O’Sullivan, Cameron Lynch.
Subs: Colm Quigley, Jack Dennehy, Billy O’Sullivan, Lewis Hanover.
Referee: Pat Ryan.