MUNSTER SENIOR CUP 15/4/06
Kinsale 3 Clonmel Town 1
(after extra time)
Favourites Clonmel Town looked to be on their way to the semi-final of the Lucozade Sport Munster Junior Cup when they opened the scoring less than two minutes into their Fort Hill game against Kinsale.
The seasiders took a while to recover and were vulnerable throughout the first half. It was a different story in the second half as a more confident Kinsale team took the game to the visitors. They netted a late equaliser and then subs Declan Ryan and Danny Searls grabbed their sweet slice of the Easter victory cake.
Clonmel have only themselves to blame for the defeat, their second quarter-final exit in less than a week. At half-time, they decided to hold on to what they had, as their FAI Cup conquerors Castlebar had done to them last Sunday. Clonmel didn't rate the Kinsale forwards, reckoned they could easily hold them and perhaps add a second on the break. In some ways they were right – after all it was a midfielder and two subs that scored for the happy winners.
Kinsale, AUL Premier champs for the past two seasons, were going through an indifferent run prior to Saturday's encounter and a lack of confidence and concentration was in evidence, particularly in the opening half, against a skilful, hard hitting, quick thinking opposition.
In the opening minute, Kinsale were caught asleep by a quickly taken throw in and full back Gearoid Cummins reacted by fouling Ian Barnes. The free led to a corner and Barnes floated that in and the ball broke to John Shanahan who forced it home from close range.
While Clonmel had the better of the first half, they didn't make that many chances, bothering the home defence mainly through well taken corners and free kicks. Twice, they came very close indeed with free kick specials from outside the box, Shanahan in the 28th minute, Barnes in the 34th.
Kinsale struggled to create chances in this phase. Colin Kilty did have a shot from the edge of the box midway through but that was well held by keeper Liam Sparks and, in the 29th, Stephen O’Donovan was well off the mark when he tried a volley as a free broke just inside the 18 yard line.
Kinsale made a bright start to the second half and their growing belief in themselves was illustrated with a couple of sweeping moves during the third quarter but neither Steve O’Donovan nor Ken Harrington (who had a great chance) could shoot an equaliser.
It all came good though in the 81st minute. Just before, Jeremy O’Donovan had seen a volley on the turn deflected over for a corner. Derek McCarthy floated in that flag kick and Stephen O’Donovan somehow found space in the crowded six yard box to head to the top of the net.
Subs Searls and Ryan came on for the home team in the 76th minute and struck gold in the first period of extra time, Ryan netting in the 93rd minute, Searls in the 100th.
Ryan’s chance came after a ball by Colin Kilty had sliced the Clonmel defence. Ryan indeed had so much space that there was a Clonmel chorus of offside but the big striker ignored that cacophony to race on and slide the ball under the advancing Sparks.
And Ryan also had a part to play in the clincher. He rose at the far post to head an incoming corner down into the crowded six yard box. It hopped nicely for Searls and his strike clinched Kinsale’s place in the semi-final where they will play National League Cobh Ramblers.
Kinsale: Graham Quinn, Gearoid Cummins, Ben Ryan, Florence Lynch (captain), Colin Kilty, Ryan Coyle, Jeremy O’Donovan, Derek McCarthy, Stephen O’Donovan, Sean Prior and Ken Harrington. Subs used: Daniel Searls and Declan Ryan for Coyle and Harrington (both 76th minute) and Eamonn Jones for Kilty (98th).
Clonmel Town: Liam Sparks, Darren Burns, Ronan Stanley, Kevin Blanche, Aidan Landral, John Shanahan, Ian Barnes, Paul Scully (captain), Jan Semancik, Tony Scully and Paul Shanahan. Subs used: Alan Cody for Semancik (62nd minute), Dwayne Burns for Shanahan (83rd) and Tony Davis for Darren Burns (100th).
Referee: Damien O’Mahony. Assistants: John Lenihan and Keith Callanan.