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Villa bag final spot

Nurney Villa............................3

Stretford United......................0

Title-holders Nurney Villa advanced to the semi-finals of the Evening Herald Carlow Shield with a convincing victory, despite finishing with 10 men.

Villa opened the scoring just eight minutes in when Richard Kearney, from a free-kick 23 yards out, sent the ball past the wall and straight past the United 'keeper for an excellent score.

Nurney were having the better of the first-quarter exchanges and were unlucky not to have doubled their advantage when John Miley cracked his shot off the United crossbar with the 'keeper beaten.

Then Stretford began to trouble the Villa goal and Dinny Byrne was forced into a few good saves, the best from United's Shane Farrell when he blocked the first attempt and was quick to smother the second from the rebound.

Then before the break, United had a good chance of equalising but, Kieran Dollard sent his shot well over.

In the second half, Stretford had a lot of possession, however for most of the time they were passing the ball around and failing to put shots on target.


Nurney were then reduced to 10 when a player was sent-off for two yellow cards.

Despite United having the extra man, Villa defended well and relied on the break for the remainder of the half to create any goal-scoring chances.

On one such occasion, Pakie Fleming set up Seamus Kinsella to double their advantage on 83 minutes.

Still under pressure from Stretford who were desperately trying to get back into the game, Villa broke again two minutes later, Hugh Kelly putting Sean Kinsella through this time to make the tie for the Division 1 side safe and advance to the semi-finals.

Fromm a solid team performance from the holders, Nurney Villa, Hugh Kelly, Val Fleming and Pakie Fleming had top-drawer performances.

Best players from the Premier side, Stretford United were PJ Connolly, Gary Powell and James Ryan.