Inter City Celtic 4 Macroom 1
Shane Myers scored a smashing hat trick as second division Inter City Celtic ambushed Premier A team Macroom in the second round of the Murphy’s Stout AOH Cup.
Myers twice put the game underdogs in front and then completed his hat trick in the closing stages after sub Damien Whelton had stretched the lead to 3-1.
It was a bad day for Macroom who had two of their Oscar Traynor players, Darra Deasy and keeper Shane O'Leary, in their team; the third, Trevor O'Brien, missed out because of suspension.
Key midfielder William O’Riordan limped out midway through the first half and his replacement Norman Kelly lasted just over ten minutes before going off with a leg injury.
Macroom started the better but failed to take their chances. Quite a few fell to young Barry O’Donnell but he didn't enjoy the best of luck with his finishing, though credit too to home keeper Mark McDonnell who made excellent saves from the Macroom striker in the 4th, 14th and 20th minutes.
Inter City made the breakthrough on the half-hour mark. O'Leary could only parry a stinging 18 yard drive by John Breen and Myers raced in to crack home the loose ball.
The reply followed within sixty seconds. There were a couple of rebounds in the Celtic penalty area before Patrick Burns fired a low shot past McDonnell. Macroom came close again in the 40th minute when Kevin Sheehan shot just wide after a corner broke to him.
Despite the disruption caused by the injuries, Macroom had a slight edge in the first half but it was the other way round in the second.
Macroom were exposed in the 49th minute when Ciaran Speight sent Breen racing clear. The defence were calling for offside and then, after O'Leary’s heavy duty clash with the lone attacker, the home team were calling for a free but referee Jim McGrath denied all claims.
O'Leary made a fine save after a Brian Milner shot was deflected but was beaten again in the 75th minute. Milner got in a superb cross from the right and Myers dived low at the far post and squeezed his header home.
Macroom came raiding, hoping for a quick response again, but could find no way through. The home defence, with Peter Herlihy outstanding in the middle, played solidly to the end and gave nothing away.
Indeed, the second division side, with Gordon Lynch working hard throughout and contributing hugely in midfield, where Ciaran Speight was also operating successfully, were growing in confidence by the moment and made their passage secure with two goals in as many minutes.
They made it 3-1 in the 85th minute. Ciaran Speight’s through ball split the Macroom defence and sub Whelton raced in to drive a low rocket past O’Leary and make it 3-1.
The impressive Myers completed his hat trick in the 86th minute. Again the danger came up the left. Breen supplied the pass and Myers the classy finish.
Both chances were similar to those Macroom had in the opening minutes and it could well have been a different result had they taken them as well as their second division opponents.
Inter City had done their bit to ensure that the Popham’s Road pitch, which slopes from side to side, was playable. The surface was reasonably good, aside from a strip along the lower touchline. Home knowledge was well used here as Inter avoided the poor stretch and it was no coincidence that three of their goals were scored as a result of moves on the top side.
Inter City Celtic: Mark McDonnell, John Breen, Damien Hayes, Aidan O'Brien, Peter Herlihy, Ciaran Speight, Gordon Lynch, Padraig Speight (Captain), Shane Myers, Tony Linehan and Eoin Sheehy. Subs: Brian Milner for O'Brien (60th minute), Damien Whelton for Sheehy (72nd minute) and Brian Buckley (not used).
Macroom: Shane O'Leary (captain), Brian Horgan, Darren O'Brien, John Ronan, Darragh Deasy, John Angland, William O’Riordan, Kevin Sheehan (12), Patrick Burns, Barry O’Donnell and Eric Arekszok. Subs: Norman Kelly for O’Riordan (24th minute, injured), Denis Murray for Kelly (36th minute, injured) and Gerald McCarthy for Murray (60th minute).
Referee: Jim McGrath.