Corcoran and Daly goals clinches semis spot for Moran's aces at windy Carriganore

By John Hudson

Top scorer Robbie Corcoran was on target again as the unbeaten Waterford IT 'C' side claimed a hard fought win over Carlow Institute to book a Division Three semi-final place at a windswept Carriganore.

Corcoran boosted his goal tally to eight in league and cup outings for the season so far with a fine first-half strike to give his side a firm foothold in the game.

While Waterford still needed a second goal from his strike partner PJ Daly with 20 minutes remaining to made sure of the win after Carlow threatened to force an equaliser for a brief period after the break.

Waterford IT manager Ray Moran in his second season in charge of this side is quietly confident that they can get among the honours again this term.

"Last year we went out of the league at the quarter final stage losing 3-1 at Dun Laoghaire IADT but we quickly overcame that set back and bounced back stronger to take the Colleges FAI Bob Eustace Cup in a thriller against Moate Business College in the final at Athlone," explained Moran.

By a strange coincidence Waterford's opponents in the Division Three semi final will be an away trip to face that same Moate side early next month.

"This squad is an honest and hardworking group with no stars who give me everything when they go on the pitch so we'll travel to Moate with confidence," added Moran.

The fine All Weather surface at the splendid Waterford IT Sports Campus did its job as both sides managed to produce an excellent game despite the gale force wind and torrential rain which fell during the course of the 90 minutes.

The home side got on top quickly Corcoran and Mark O'Neill forced two great save from Carlow goalkeeper Roberto Pedro early on.

While at the other end Mark Davis managed to test Waterford's Eoin Doyle.

Waterford came close to opening the score on 23 minutes with Pedro once again saving brilliantly from a PJ Daly header after Cathal McGonigle's well delivered free to the far post.

But Waterford didn't have to wait too much longer as the break through came minutes later with a top class strike from Corcoran.

O'Neill made space for himself out on the left and after riding two tackles he squared the ball into the path of Corcoran and he found the back of the Carlow net with a magnificent left footed strike from 25 yards.

Not to be deterred by this set back the visitors came close to getting back on terms before the interval when Davis struck a blistering 30 yard free kick but he was unlucky to see his 42nd minute effort go narrowly over Doyle's crossbar.

Waterford aided by the fierce wind after the break looked like quickly increasing their lead but Pedro displayed his class once again on 51 minutes, this time turning away an angled strike from Pat Fitzgerald.

The battling Carlow boys were still very competitive and began to get a foothold. First Davis had a great opportunity to level matters just after the hour mark but he shot straight at Doyle after he was put clear by Darren Croke.

Croke then had a chance himself when he skipped past Luke Deane but he was unable to keep his shot from just inside the 18 yards box on target.

The game was finely balanced at that stage but Waterford responded to the challenge in fine style go on and clinch the win with the decisive second goal from Daly on 71 minutes.

Gabriel Macedo set up the score when his clever pass picked out Daly who then went racing down the right flank.

The Waterford striker still had a lot of work to do but he managed to get past Ciaran Carthy before beating Pedro from an acute angle from just inside the right side of the penalty area.

Towards the end substitute Pedro Braz Colen had a glorious chance to make it 3-0 but he blazed wide from close in.

WATERFORD IT 'C': Eoin Doyle, Aaron Sinnott, Julian Lopez, Tom Cantwell, Luke Deane, Gabriel Macedo, Cathal McGonigle, Pat Fitzgerald, Robbie Corcoran, P.J Daly, Mark O'Neill.

SUBS: Pedro Braz Colen (for Fitzgerald 72 mins),Mikey Ryan (for Sinnott 75 mins), Shane Harris (for O'Neill 88 mins).

CARLOW INSTITUTE OF FE: Roberto Pedro, John Hayden, Jack Bolger, Dan O'Connor, Jakub Daboz, Aaron Kinsella, Lee Conran, Mark Reade, Darren Croke, Mark Davis, Stefan Flynn.

SUBS: Ciaran Carthy (for Reade 36 mins), Ger Breehan (for Hayden 46 mins), Ray Mooney (for O'Connor 81 mins), James Doyle (for Flynn 88 mins)

REFEREE: Anthony Walsh (Waterford)

WATERFORD IT 'C'.........................2

CARLOW INSTITUTE OF FE ...............0