Wednesday 17 January 2018

Fitzpatrick the shoot-out hero as Nenagh hold nerve

Evergreen FC 1 Nenagh AFC 1 (Nenagh AFC won 4-2 on pens) (FAI UMBRO YOUTHS CUP)

Nenagh AFC winning penalty scorer Craig McDonnell lifts the cup as his team-mates celebrates
Nenagh AFC winning penalty scorer Craig McDonnell lifts the cup as his team-mates celebrates
Dylan Walsh, Nenagh AFC, celebrates after team-mate Craig McDonnell scored the winning penalty against Evergreen FC
Craig McDonnell, Nenagh AFC, scores the winning penalty

NENAGH AFC captured the Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out at Castlecomer's Prince Grounds.

A thrilling encounter produced top-class displays from both sides.

Evergreen grabbed the opener with a stunning goal in the 35th minute. Nenagh 'keeper Cillian Fitzpatrick's throw-out was intercepted by midfielder Bobby Walsh, who instantly produced an outstanding Jonjo Shelvey-style effort from 35 yards that sailed into the roof of the net.

However, Nenagh had Fitzpatrick to thank for keeping them in the game with a string of fine saves – the most crucial when he got down well to keep out an excellent strike from Ronan Coffey in the 74th minute that probably would have settled the game.

The Tipperary outfit grabbed an equaliser in the 79th minute, when livewire Cian Darcy found the net with a cracking strike after cutting in from the left flank.

The two sides cancelled each other out in extra-time, although Nenagh were denied an injury-time winner when Aidan Hynes saved at the feet of Sheehan.

Nenagh's dynamic full-back Dylan Kennedy was named man of the match, but Fitzpatrick was the hero keeping out spot-kicks from Niall Brennan and Mark Slater, another player who impressed for the unlucky Kilkenny side.

EVERGREEN FC – A Hynes, J Conway, R Hennessy, A Tuohy, M Slater, D Drennan (N Brennan 84), B Walsh (G Lapuste 67), E McGovern, R Coffey, R Buckley (D Fwamba 90), B Hickey.

NENAGH AFC – C Fitzpatrick, D Kennedy, D Walsh, D Kelly, C O'Reilly, J Lewis (C McDonnell 74), B Banaghan, B Singh (D O'Meara 73), R Gilmartin, A Sheehan, C Darcy.

REF – N Boland

Irish Independent

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