John Paul O’Sullivan strike settles AOH Cup semi-final win for Grattan over Village United

John Paul O’Sullivan strike settles AOH Cup semi-final win for Grattan over Village United

Grattan's Christy Bullman and Village United's Michael Coffey clash for possession near the line, in the action at the Farm.

Village United 0

Grattan United 1

John Paul O’Sullivan’s penalty conversion in the 44th minute helped Grattan book their place in this season’s AOH Cup final after their narrow 1-0 victory over Village United at the Farm.

Unfortunately, this semi-final never went near the expectations ahead of the game as it turned out to be pretty much a drab affair.

The tie was totally devoid of any kind of fluency with both teams struggling to settle on the ball over the 90 minutes.

But, in the end, Grattan will certainly be the happier of the two and will now face Coachford in the final in Turner’s Cross on Friday, June 3.

Village never really got a firm grip on the game and failed to trouble James Byrne between the sticks for Grattan.

In fact, I can only remember the Grattan keeper having to make a save from Seamus Courtney’s headed effort from a corner around the 70th minute.

Both sides looked nervous and tense from the off and it was Christy Bullman who was denied when Johnny Buckley produced a top-drawer block to prevent the Grattan forward getting a shot away on goal.

A dinking ball then from Harry Goulding looked destined for Bullman, but Gavin Cummins was quick to spot the danger in time to come off his line to claim possession.

The Grattan United side who had a 1-0 victory over Village United in their AOH Cup semi-final clash at the Farm.
The Grattan United side who had a 1-0 victory over Village United in their AOH Cup semi-final clash at the Farm.

At the other end, Anthony Kiniry played it on for Michael Coffey whose cross looked like it was reaching Tony Kelly, but Keith Harris came to his side’s rescue to produce a sharp interception.

Tony Kelly did well on the right flank to get past his marker, but his threaded pass meant for Colin Hickey had just too much on it.

Kelly then tried his luck from a free kick around 25 yards out, but he failed to keep his effort down.

And when a ball came over the top for the in-rushing Kelly, Anthony Byrne produced the necessary piece of defending to clean up the danger, but at the expense of a corner.

Minutes later, O’Donnell’s free kick was headed clear by Grattan, but only into the path of Anthony Kiniry whose low effort on goal never really bothered James Byrne.

When play shifted to the other end, Christy Bullman found space enough to have a crack on goal, but his effort lacked conviction and Cummins was left pick with ease.

A ball around the corner from Kent found Bullman, but his effort to curl it in at the far post never went according to plan.

But, the ice was broken soon afterwards when referee Tom McCarthy had no choice, but to point to the spot after Michael Kent was bundled over in the box.

And from the spot, John Paul O’Sullivan’s cracking effort reached the net, but not without a superb effort by goalkeeper Gavin Cummins who got a strong hand to it before the ball made its way over the line with just a minute to go to the break.

Grattan United's captain John Paul O'Sullivan (left) and Village United's Colin Hikckey, accompanied by referee Tom McCarthy.
Grattan United's captain John Paul O'Sullivan (left) and Village United's Colin Hikckey, accompanied by referee Tom McCarthy.

The second half commenced with Grattan winning a corner on the left and after Fleming’s delivery skimmed off John Paul O’Sullivan’s head, it arrived for Cian Hawkins who drilled over from an acute angle.

Village responded with Colin Hickey lofting a lovely ball into space for Stephen O’Donnell, but with Tony Kelly and Stephen Long lurking in the final third, he failed to get his cross in and skewed wide.

A corner then from Colin Hickey found Stephen Long who rose to send his header over while unattended.

But, what a chance fell for Grattan at the other end when Gary Coughlan crossed low for John Paul O’Sullivan who could not beat Cummins with the goal at his mercy.

A neat ball through by Harris gave Bullman a half-chance, but he curled wide of the far post.

Then, Village were denied an equaliser when from a long throw, Johnny Buckley looped a header which was well saved by James Byrne.

And after Fleming’s corner was headed clear, the final action saw Harte drill over as Grattan managed the game out.

Village Utd: Gavin Cummins, Stephen Hackett, Aaron Smith, Seamus Courtney, Johnny Buckley, Anthon Kiniry, Colm Hickey, Stephen Long, Tony Kelly, Stephen O’Donnell and Michael Coffey.

Subs: Stephen Thompson for Aaron Smith (67).

Grattan Utd: James Byrne, Aaron Broderick, Harry Goulding, Anthony Byrne, Eric Fleming, Michael Kent, Cian Hawkins, Keith Harris, John Paul O’Sullivan, Gary Coughlan and Christopher Bullman.

Subs: Anthony Harte for Cian Hawkins (70), Mark O’Sullivan for Christopher Bullman (85).

Referee: Tom McCarthy.

Assistants: Jason Cramer and Brendan O’Regan.

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