Tuesday 25 June 2019

Penalty woe for Blues

FAI Junior Cup: Crettyard United 3 Muirhevnamor 3 (Crettyard win 5-4 pens)

Muirhevnamor's long run in the FAI Junior cup ended at a wet and windy Laois on Sunday where in the heavy, energy sapping conditions they succumbed on penalties when extra-time failed to separate the sides after being locked at three-all at the end of normal time.

Agonisingly for Colin Finan and his teammates his kick struck the post with the goalkeeper moving to the opposite side of the goal as Crettyard converted the crucial sixth spot kick as the shoot-out turned into sudden death.

Both teams netted four of their first five attempts, with Martin Smith, Jimmy Cooney, Mickey O'Kane and Tiernan Mulvenna all scoring for the visitors.

The home side as a result advance to the last 16 of the national knockout competition after Muirhevnamor twice led in normal time , with Billy Smith with a brace, striking early in both halves.

Standing then 2-1 ahead after the break they will look back and feel they squandered the chance to continue their progress in the competition.

They were well on top, but conceded a poor goal, and obviously rattled fell behind in a terrible spell of little more than five minutes.

However, they showed their resilience to bounce back with only ten minutes remaining to fashion an equaliser.

Tiarnan Mulvenna scored at the death to force the game into extra-time, latching on to a flick on in the box by Mickey O'Kane to beat the home goalkeeper with a header.

Then the important slice of luck eluded Muirhevnamor when with scoring opportunities drying up they felt they were denied a stone wall penalty kick when Martin Smith was caught by a home defender in the box in the second period of extra-time, but the referee waved aside their appeals. They had a couple of other claims for a penalty in the tie before that.

They gained the ideal start when Billy Smith sprung the home team's offside trap and lobbed the goalkeeper to put them ahead after five minutes.

But they held the lead only for five minutes. In the second half they made the same mistake when Smith converted a cross by Gary Clarke after three minutes, and they let the lead slip again.

MUIRHEVNAMOR: Michael Cooney, Brian Begley (Brendan Hughes 85), Jimmy Cooney, Adrian Rafferty, Nathan Murphy (Colin Finan 85), Cody Magill (Gavin Smith et), Philip Duffy, Gary Clarke (Vinny Smith 75), Tiarnan Mulvenna, Billy Smith (Martin Smith 69) Mickey O'Kane.

The Argus