Veteran Mark O'Sullivan drives Passage to stunning win over Douglas Hall

MSL Premier League side Hall were routed by in-form Passage in the FAI Intermediate Cup
Veteran Mark O'Sullivan drives Passage to stunning win over Douglas Hall

Passage’s Mark O’Sullivan scores with a fine header against Douglas Hall, during their FAI Intermediate Cup second round clash, at Rockenham Park. Picture: David Keane

Passage 7 Douglas Hall 1

PASSAGE advanced to the third round of the FAI Intermediate Cup after an emphatic 7-1 victory over Douglas Hall at Rockenham.

Three divisions separate these two sides, but their respective league fortunes were reflected in this cup tie with Third Division leaders Passage brushing the Premier League strugglers aside.

Mark O’Sullivan knows a thing or two about winning Intermediate Cups from his Avondale United days and during another fantastic performance he chipped in with two of Passage’s tally, his second a fine individual effort to make it 4-0 in the second half.

A very young Hall side are having their troubles in the top flight, but they had a couple of good performances recently, notably a 5-1 win over Second Division Carrigtwohill in the last round.

Passage were 6-5 extra-time winners over another second division outfit, Pearse Celtic, in their first-round game, evidence that they carry a considerable goal threat.

The visitors started well and tried to get at their opponents early on with some neat passing moves and there were some good passages of build-up play.

Passage came closest to an opener in those early moments, though, when Christopher Murphy got between two Hall defenders after a delivery in from the right and his attempted lob of keeper Robert Osborne was narrowly over.

On the quarter-hour mark, Hall were denied by the post when Mark Murphy’s free from 30 yards took a slight deflection onto the frame of the goal.

Three minutes later though, Passage jumped in front when Shane Burke’s free from the right was punched clear by Osborne but came off Passage defender Eamonn Fitzgerald and into the net.

Hall tried for an immediate response and another Murphy free from distance was easily held by Passage keeper Luke Tett on this occasion.

Passage’s confidence was up now, though; former Hall player Derek Varian fired over after the ball broke to him and on the half-hour mark they doubled their lead when another Burke delivery, this time from the left, was met by O’Sullivan who headed powerfully past Osborne.

Passage’s Derek Varian battles with Douglas Hall’s David O’Sullivan. 	Picture: David Keane
Passage’s Derek Varian battles with Douglas Hall’s David O’Sullivan. Picture: David Keane

In charge at the break, Passage continued to press after the restart, though Hall’s Liam Ross forced Tett into a save a minute in.

A minute later Christopher Murphy hit the Hall post after Burke’s cross from the endline before the home side made it 3-0 almost immediately; another Burke delivery was met by former Douglas Hall defender James Kind who scored from close range.

Burke had a go himself a minute later, a volley that was saved by Osborne before O’Sullivan took over again. Picking up possession on halfway, the former Cork City striker skipped past a couple of defenders on his way to rounding Osborne and rolling the ball home.

There was no way back for Hall after that, though they did find the net when Ryan Kelleher’s shot on the turn on the angle of the box was helped home by Mark Murphy at the far post.

Murphy fired narrowly wide shortly afterward, but there was to be no comeback. Varian brought a save out of Osborne in the 67th minute, but the striker did find the net moments later, from close range after a cross from Alex Murphy on the left.

Passage’s Christopher Murphy wins the ball under pressure from Douglas Hall’s Brian Holland. 	 Picture: David Keane
Passage’s Christopher Murphy wins the ball under pressure from Douglas Hall’s Brian Holland. Picture: David Keane

Passage were not finished yet; Christopher Murphy got on the scoresheet when he got on the end of a cross from the right at the back post.

And with five minutes remaining the Passage man got his second of the night when he latched on to a loose Osborne clearance after he had left his goal, inviting the Passage man to lob him from the centre circle to round of a miserable night for the Moneygourney side while Passage can now look forward to place in the open draw.

PASSAGE: Luke Tett, Adam Muphy, Alex Murphy, Eamonn Fitzgerald, James Kind, Ryan Huntr, Shane Burke, Mark O’Sullivan, Miloz Paczkowski, Derek Varian, Christopher Murphy.

Subs: Colm O’Driscoll for Paczkowski (70), Brendan Kenny for O’Sullivan (82)

DOUGLAS HALL: Robet Osborne, Barry McCarthy, Ryan Kelleher, Gary Kelleher, David O’Sullivan, Cathal Keane, Oran Daly, Brian Holland, Liam Ross, Mark Murphy, James Daly.

Subs: Cormac Kelly and Conor Cremen for James Daly and Keane (both 54), Matthew Murphy for Holland (72), Brian O’Neill for Murphy (82).

Referee: A McDonagh.

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