Grattan United A 1 Corkbeg 1
(Grattan won 3-0 on pens)
IT needed extra time and penalties for Grattan United A to advance to the third round of the Munster Junior Cup. They beat Corkbeg 3-0 in a penalty shootout, following a 1-1 draw after extra time at Mayfield United’s all-weather facility.
It was difficult to see this cup tie going to extra time, Grattan United had been so dominant in the first half when their lead could have been a lot more than 1-0.
But a terrific, exuberant performance from the Premier A leaders in the second half had the Premier side on the back foot. With more craft and guile, the East Cork side could have achieved a shock result.
However, in the shootout, Corkbeg’s penalty kicks were poor, while Grattan slammed all three of theirs home with aplomb.
Grattan applied the early pressure and after Cian Hawkins’s low effort whistled wide, a corner from Keith Harris reached Eric Shinkwin, who headed backwards for John Paul O’Sullivan. His audacious over-head kick was blocked by a sea of bodies.
A great chance followed for Grattan: After John Paul O’Sullivan’s ball bounced off a defender, it came into the path of Christy Bullman, who headed agonisingly wide.
Corkbeg were finding it difficult to settle and another half-chance fell for the Premier side when Michael Kent fired wide after a cushioned assist from Mark O’Sullivan.
A neat move followed, with Eric Shinkwin finding Gary Coughlan with a lovely, weighted pass into space. Coughlan controlled, before picking out Cian Hawkins with a low cross, but a terrific block from Dylan O’Neill saved the day.
John Paul O’Sullivan then swivelled, before dinking over with an effort from the edge of the box.
It was a difficult time for Corkbeg, and they were lucky not to have fallen behind when John Paul O’Sullivan exchanged passes with Gary Coughlan, before rifling agonisingly over.
But, the inevitable happened, when a ball across the box bounced kindly for Gary Coughlan to head home from close range in the 27th minute.
The second half was just minutes in when Jordan Ryan curled a decent effort wide from Alan Hogan’s assist.
Corkbeg were stamping their authority on the tie and a nice run from Alan Hogan saw him create some space for himself, but over-elaboration aborted his chance.
Corkbeg enjoyed plenty of possession and were rewarded with an equaliser from Alan Hogan, when he collected from David Hickman, before hooking delicately over the on-coming James Byrne. That was 1-1, in the 70th minute.
The East Cork side continued to take the game to Grattan, with Hogan playing it inside for Aherne, who tried to pick out Tarak Tynan in a good position, but there was too much on the pass.
Referee Tom McCarthy brought closure to normal time.
Within one minute of extra time, Grattan almost scored their second goal, but goalkeeper John Manning stretched to tip John Paul O’Sullivan’s scorching effort around the post.
In the second period of extra time, a great chance fell for Corkbeg, when Killian O’Driscoll’s corner came for Stephen O’Halloran, but he headed wide. But, when it came to the penalty shootout, Grattan were more precise and ran out 3-0 winners.
GRATTAN UTD: James Byrne, Aaron Broderick, Dean Murray, Eric Shinkwin, Keith Harris, Michael Kent, Mark O’Sullivan, Cian Hawkins, John Paul O’Sullivan, Gary Coughlan and Christy Bullman.
Subs: David Curtin for Aaron Broderick (60), Luke Harris for Christy Bullman (86), Kevin Kenneally for Cian Hawkins (91), Ryan Kenny for Eric Shinkwin (102).
CORKBEG: John Manning, Cian O’Driscoll, David Hickman, Stephen O’Halloran, Colin Morgan, Jack Farmer, Jordan Ryan, Dylan O’Neill, Tarak Tynan, Alan Hogan and Max Aherne.
Subs: Killian O’Driscoll for Jack Farmer (20), Gavin Kelly for Tarak Tynan (95).
Referee: Tom McCarthy.