Bartkiewicz saves Athletic's blushes with penalty shoot-out heroics
Asdee Rovers 1 Killarney Athletic 1
(Killarney Athletic won 4-1
on penalties after extra-time)
Asdee Rovers almost caused a major upset at Craughdarrig Park on Sunday when they took Premier A title contenders Killarney Athletic to extra time in this exciting replay but went down in a dramatic penalty shoot out.
Athletic started the game as hot favourites but after dominating the opening half and missing a few good chances Asdee turned in a great second half display and fully deserved to take the game to extra time. The hero of the game for Athletic was their goalie Rafal Bartkiewicz, who saved three penalty kicks in the shoot out.
Athletic had the strong gale behind them in the first half and dominated proceedings going ahead after just 6 minutes. The agile and speedy Jamie Doolan ran on to a loose ball and laid it off to Brien O'Reilly who applied a neat finish.
It took Asdee 14 minutes to get their first effort on target and Kenneth Tydings shot was saved by the Athletic custodian. They then had a lucky escape when their goalie Tom Quinn was left in no man's land after leaving his line but Shane Bunyan was unable to capitalise on the opportunity.
Athletic should have extended their lead in the 35 minute when Lucas Polack set up Jamie Doolan but he missed from close range with the goals at his mercy.
Asdee seemed to have a major task ahead when they faced the wind in the second half but they moved up a gear and began to take the game to their opponents. They were very unlucky not to equalise in the 50th minute when a long kick out from Tom Quinn caught Athletic napping at the back and Jamie Culloty's vicious shot canoned back from the crossbar with the Athletic goalie just a spectator.
Two minutes later they were on level terms when a foul on Noel Long led to a free kick 10 yards outside the Athletic box. Mark Culloty delivered an exquisite shot which evaded the wall and curled into the top left hand corner for a goal of sheer quality.
Asdee had a great chance to take the lead in the 81st minute when Jamie Culloty was played in one on one with the Athletic goalie but the keeper make a good stop.
With the game deadlocked after 90 minutes two weary sides faced extra time. Both sides were very cagey in extra time with Asdee's best chance coming from Jamie Culloty but his shot was saved by the Athletic keeper while Asdee had a huge let off in the final minute after an almighty goalmouth scramble Cillian Beasley prevented a certain goal with a dramatic off the line stop.
With proceedings deadlocked it went to the shoot out with Athletic's Shane and Jamie Doolan, Shane Bunyan and Lucas Polack scoring from the spot, but it was Athletic goalie Rafal Bartkiewicz that made the headlines with three great penalty saves from Darren Russell, Jamie and Mark Culloty put his side into the next round winning the shoot out 4-1.
Asdee Rovers: Tommy Quinn, Kenneth Tydings, Cillian Beasley, Maurice O'Connor, John Martin Horgan, Noel Long, Joseph O'Brien, Mark Culloty, James Culloty, Darren Russell, Thomas Pierse. Subs: Jeremiah Tydings for Joseph O'Brien, Kieran McElligott for Kenneth Tydings
Killarney Athletic: Rafal Bartkiewicz, Killian Fitzgerald, David Looney, Shane Doolan, Mark Griffin, Lucas Polack, Mike Lyndsey, Martin Crowley, Brian O Reilly, Jamie Doolan, Shane Bunyan. Subs: Niall O'Riordan for Brian O'Reilly, Alan O'Sullivan for Martin Crowley.
Referee: Mike Dempsey
Skelliga FC 2
The Greyhound Bar Cup is a competition that frequently throws up surprise results but they don't come any bigger that this one with Skelliga from Division 2 A sending the reigning champions Castleisland crashing out of the competition in this replay and right in their back garden for good measure.
Few would envisage the South Kerry side winning in a pitch which is as strong as a fostress for the islanders but Skelliga came and conquered and they had smiles as broad as the Iveragh Peninsula on their homeword journey on Sunday evening.
The home side enjoyed a lot of possession but Skelliga adopted good containment tactics and were always looking for an opportunity to hit on the break.
With scoring chances at a premium neither side could find the net in 90 minutes so it headed into extra time. They were still deadlocked after the first period but Skelliga took the lead in the second period with a great strike from Stevie Boyle from just outside the box.
As Castleisland went all out for an equaliser Skelliga hit the fatal blow with John Cliffords looping shot from long range going all the way to the net to clinch a famous victory for the South Kerry side.
The man of the match for Skelliga was Kenneth Clifford at centre back who marshelled his defence superbly and turned in a fantastic performance.
To keep Castleisland scoreless in the two games was a fabulous achievement which makes them very worthy winners.