Meehan adds to Ballynanty fairytale
FAI Junior Cup finalists Ballynanty Rovers reached the last 16 of the blue riband event thanks to an exciting victory over Phoenix at the Fairgreen, Limerick.
Ballynanty Rovers 2 Phoenix 1
Defender Kenneth Meehan proved the hero, netting in the 25th and 78th minutes of an entertaining second-round tie.
The lively Paul Ryan pulled a goal back for the Dublin intermediate side two minutes from time, but Balla' comfortably held on to earn the chance of a tie against Airtricity League opposition.
Ballynanty, who lost to St Michael's in the FAI Junior Cup final two weeks earlier, went in front on 25 minutes when Alex Purcell and the impressive David Dunphy created an opening in the visitors' defence and Meehan blasted to the net.
With Tom Daly hugely impressive at the heart of defence, they maintained their 1-0 lead to half-time.
Meehan grabbed the clincher 12 minutes from time when he headed home Dunphy's corner.
Resilient Phoenix, who beat Bluebell United in the previous round, gave themselves a lifeline in the 88th minute when Ryan produced a terrific, composed finish after Balla' had failed to clear a free-kick.
However, the home side survived with few alarms.
Ballynanty Rovers – Bromell; Earls, McInerney, Meehan, Daly, Ryan, Dunphy, O'Brien, Hanlon (Fahy 60) (Leyden 80), Purcell, Radcliffe (Doran 76).
Phoenix FC – Munteann; O'Reilly, Todorov, Ekanem, Ennis, Fitzgibbon, Byrne (McDonnell 49), Gleeson, Ryan, Giffney, Mason (Campbell 72).
REF – R Hennessy (Limerick).