Grangevale through to next round of cup thanks to ace Tabb

Grangevale through to next round of cup thanks to ace Tabb

Glenvale's Shane Flannery clears his lines in the action against Clonakilty.

Grangevale 4

Clonakilty 2

BILLY TABB grabbed a hat-trick to help Grangevale reach the second round of the McCarthy Insurance Munster Junior Cup following a 4-2 victory over Clonakilty FC at the Mayfield FC all-weather facility.

And while Tabb grabs the highlights and rightly so after some fine finishing, Grangevale’s goalkeeper Ryan Kennedy was the real reason why Grangevale won this cup tie as he produced some mesmerising saves to keep his side in the tie throughout, which must have left Clonakilty wondering what they had to do to score against an unbeatable keeper who was in top form on the day.

After a lively start, Clonakilty threatened down the left flank with Josh Henry just failing to get a touch to Jonathon Leahy’s low cross.

Clonakilty took the lead on eight minutes and it arrived in fortuitous circumstances as Buckley skewed into his own net in an effort to clear his lines.

Clonakilty threatened again when Iain O’Driscoll forced Kennedy to get down smartly to smother from his low effort before Jonathon Leahy saw his effort after swivelling - ricochet he off Jenkins to go out for a corner.

But, it was all square again when Seamus O’Brian spilled the ball which allowed Billy Tabb pounce before guiding it home into an unprotected net on 11 minutes.

Ryan Kennedy was then called upon to get his body behind a forceful effort from Chris Collins.

A sumptuous ball from Dave Barrett picked out the run of Tabb, but the striker fired inches wide of the far post.

Clonakilty's Jonathon Leahy looks for a way through in the action against Grangevale at the Mayfield United all-weather complex.
Clonakilty's Jonathon Leahy looks for a way through in the action against Grangevale at the Mayfield United all-weather complex.

When play shifted to the other end, it took a superb save from Kennedy to prevent Sean Lawless’ effort reaching its target.

And when Leahy produced a delicate flick that looked like heading for the top corner, Kennedy used cat-like reflexes to tip over.

Poor defending in the Clonakilty defence allowed Dave Barrett’s delivery from a free kick head all the way across the box for Phil Sweetnam to help home and hand Grangevale the lead on 27.

Then, after Kennedy made yet another fine save from Chris Collins’ effort from distance, Tabb won good possession before setting off to rifle agonisingly wide of the far post.

Chris Collins found space for himself in the final third, but after unleashing a fine effort, Kennedy was there to save the day again.

And when Jonathon Leahy set up Joe Edmeade with a nice through ball, again, Kennedy came to the rescue to produce a superb block.

Clonakilty pressed again and when Chris Collins collected from Eoin Harnett, his effort to try and reach the top corner was foiled when Kennedy stretch to grab on to possession.

Clonakilty were frantically chasing that elusive equaliser and it was Reuban Henry who was accorded a half chance, but he hooked over from close range.

But a terrific run by Grangevale’s Billy Tabb saw him produce a majestic finish into the bottom corner to make it 3-1 on 79 minutes.

Clonakilty’s hearts were then broken when Tabb struck again two minutes later when he produced another deadly finish into the same corner.

Clonakilty refused to be bowed though and showed terrific resilience when Joe Edmeade steadied himself before planting a tremendous effort into the top corner to eventually beat Ryan Kennedy in the Grangevale goal.

With just minutes on the clock and nothing to really lose at this stage, Clonakilty threw the kitchen sink at Grangevale and could have had a third if it were not for the unbeatable Kennedy between the sticks who brought off a superb save to deny Joe Edmeade just seconds before referee Jason Mannix brought closure to the cup tie.

Grangevale: Ryan Kennedy, Shane Flannery, Diarmuid O’Neill, Ben Jenkins, Alan Buckley, Adam O’Regan, Phil Sweetnam, Dan Harvey, Billy Tabb, Dave Barrett and Jacob Moleli.

Subs: Eric Compagno for Diarmuid O’Neill (half-time), Colin McKeown for Dan Harvey (82), Shane Murphy for Shane Flannery (84).

Clonakilty: Seamus O’Brien, Eoin Harnett, Iain O’Driscoll, Reuben Henry, Connie McKahy, Jonathon Leahy, Sean Lawless, Alan Murphy, Chris Collins, James Horan and Josh Henry.

Subs: Paul Daley for Iain O’Driscoll (35), Joe Edmeade for Sean Lawless (54), King Iyalla for Jonathon Leahy (67), Tomas Battersby for Eoin Harnett (72), Rob Downey for Reuban Henry (74).

Referee: Jason Mannix.

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