FAI JUNIOR CUP 12.11.2005
Passage 6 Crosshaven 1
The evergreen Paul Coughlan led by example as he played a major role in helping Passage to a 6-1 win over Crosshaven in the second round of the Statoil FAI Junior Cup at Rockenham on Saturday. But there was no such joy for Crosshaven veteran John Griffin who played with Temple United in the 1987 FAI Cup final.
Coughlan, the ex Cobh Ramblers player and man of the match in the Passage team that won the AOH Cup back in 1994, enjoyed his afternoon but fellow veteran Griffin, despite playing great stuff in midfield and converting a penalty for Crosshaven, had one he’d rather forget.
Passage were in a class of their own once they took the lead at Rockenham. They soon doubled that 36th minute advantage but Crosser then pulled one back.
Coughlan demanded an all out effort from his colleagues to restore the two-goal cushion before the break and that they duly did. Two early second half goals by hat trick ace Clifton Gaffney put daylight between the sides and put a Crosshaven comeback out of the question.
Coughlan and Gaffney were indeed key figures for the well-tuned winners but midfielder Gary Prout, a member of the current AUL Oscar Traynor side, was another to turn in a ten out of ten display.
Indeed Prout provided one of the game’s highlights. That came in the 20th minute. He won the ball off his marker in his own half and then raced into the Crosshaven half. He left two would-be tacklers in his wake before the Crosshaven centrehalf Kieran Hutton dashed across to concede a corner.
Crosshaven enjoyed their fair share of possession in the opening half and worried the home defence from time to time. They had their first corner in the 21st minute and their first and best scoring opportunity in the 26th.
Noel Jordan was unmarked as a high ball came in, the Passage defence looking in vain for an offside whistle from referee Sean Hegarty. But Jordan’s unconvincing finish was a shade too hasty and the chance vanished as his low 16 yard drive sped well wide of Eric Cahalane's right hand post.
The Passage attacks though carried more menace and they made it count with a two-goal blast in sixty seconds. The opening goal came in the 36th minute and was a multi-pass gem.
Coughlan and defender Mervyn O’Connor tidied up loose ball on the right, deep in their own half, and Coughlan fired a great crossfield ball to left back Owen Lombard. He played it forward to Simon McGarry who linked up with Gaffney in the box. Gaffney’s pass was then finished by the incoming Chris McSweeney, whose shot took a deflection off a scrambling defender before ending up in the net.
|Goal for Passage|
The next Passage attack produced a corner - and another goal. Gavin O’Connor hit the corner. Skipper O’Leary headed it back across the area where McGarry’s stunning volley sent the ball flying high into the net to make it 2-0.
Crosshaven pulled one back in the 38th minute. Mervyn O’Connor handled the ball after some pressure by Sullivan and John Griffin scored from the spot.
It was then that Coughlan asked his colleagues to go for the third and they got it in the 42nd minute. Gavin O’Connor hit an inviting corner from the right and Gaffney’s fantastic far post header went back across the goal, over the stranded keeper and in high by the other post.
Crosshaven came close enough in the 45th minute when Sullivan collected a throw ball in the box, turned and shot. But keeper Eric Cahalane saved with his legs and Coughlan’s two-goal cushion was maintained.
The Crosshaven horror story continued in the opening minutes of the second half. In the 48th minute, Gavin O’Connor and skipper O'Leary combined in midfield before the latter freed Gaffney to shoot low past Elejalde from a narrow angle.
Sixty seconds later, Passage quickly cleared the ball from a Crosshaven corner and the Columbian raced from his line to confront Gaffney at the edge of the box. But Gaffney saw him coming and quickly dispatched the long clearance past the luckless Robinson and it rolled all the way to the empty net.
Passage made it 6-1 in the 64th minute, the goal coming following a midfield block by skipper James O'Leary. The ball ran forward to Prout and the busy midfielder took it on up the left before cutting in unopposed and blasting past the keeper.
Passage: Eric Cahalane, Martin Murphy, Owen Lombard, Paul Coughlan, Mervyn O’Connor, Gary Prout, James O'Leary (captain), Simon McGarry, Chris McSweeney, Clifton Gaffney and Gavin O’Connor. Subs used: John Cotter for M. O’Connor (55th minute) and Senan Andrews for Coughlan (67th).
Crosshaven: Robinson Elejalde, William Austin, John Duggan, Billy Coniry, Kieran Hutton, Sam Tyrell, Jonathan Mulcahy (captain), John Griffin, Alan Sullivan, Noel Jordan and James Darcy. Subs used: Alan Moreland for Darcy (56th minute, injured), Conal Wrigley, Dave Condon, Philip Slyne for Tyrell (65th) and Aidan Birmingham.
Referee: Sean Hegarty.