Match details below
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MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP
Passage 1 Bunratty 1
(Bunratty won 5-3 on penalties, after extra time)
It wasn't pretty but it was a pretty good Munster Junior Cup win for Clare visitors Bunratty who'll have to improve hugely on this performance if they are to get the better of Fairview Rangers in the next round.
Passage looked the likely side in the first half but had just the one goal to show for it and a scrambled one at that. Bunratty came well into it in the second half and equalised from an undisputed penalty. Passage did have a late "goal" disallowed and had the better of extra time but the Clare visitors won this 4th round Lucozade Sport Munster Junior Cup replay 5-3 in the shootout.
The first meeting, which also ended at 1-1, was reported to have been a cracker but Saturday's game at Rockenham, looking splendid after some very hard work by the home committee, was poor enough. Sure, each side had its good spells but each gave the ball away regularly and there were far too many unforced errors.
Perhaps it was because the teams were so evenly matched that there were so few chances throughout. Passage came close in the 9th minute. Then they combined to get fullback Derek O'Brien into the box. But keeper Darren Whelan arrived a split second after the pass and O'Brien's necessarily hurried effort went over the top.
Bunratty had a half chance in the 18th minute. Then Brian Casey got away rather easily from Gordon Ryan and crossed for the incoming Declan Adams but his shot was much too high.
The goal, in the 21st minute, typified the exchanges up to that point. Chris McSweeney challenged the visiting keeper as an O'Brien cross came over. The ball broke to Mark O'Sullivan who bundled it into the empty net from less than two yards.
One of the unforced errors came in the 27th minute. The Passage keeper, under no pressure, cleared a back pass. But he kicked the ball off an incoming Bunratty man, John Ryan, and Passage were lucky that the ball spun away from goal and not towards it.
The home side mounted a big attack five minutes later and O'Sullivan played a neat through ball into the path of James O'Leary, the team captain, but keeper Whelan, a key figure for the winners, dashed from his line and got the pass before its intended recipient.
Keeper Whelan was drawn off his line again in the 40th minute and ended up chasing Alan Jeffers out by the corner flag. The Passage man did get his cross in and it bounced by the far post before going dead. Hard to believe there was no colleague there to touch it in.
Passage piled on the pressure at the start of the second half and forced a string of corners. James O'Leary had a header taken off the line, following one of the flag kicks, but there was no joy for the Passage team.
On the contrary, they got grief. They survived one penalty appeal in the 55th minute when Casey claimed he was "hooked" in the box, as he was about to shoot. But they got their penalty in the 66th minute when Derek Byrne went down under the challenge of Paul Coughlan. Adams converted the spotter with ease.
The final quarter saw no improvement in the excitement on offer though there were a couple of talking points. Passage had penalty claims after Gary Prout appeared to have been pushed in the box before colliding with keeper Whelan.
Then the home side had the ball in the net when the diving Mark O'Sullivan got ahead of his marker to glance a header past Whelan off a cross by Gordon Ryan. But the 87th minute celebrations were quickly aborted by assistant referee Frank O'Neill who had his flag up for offside.
And more disappointment for Passage in the final minute when, following a James O'Leary cross, a well hit Prout shot was parried by keeper Whelan.
Passage, with substitute Simon McGarry doing his bit, had the better of the first period of extra time but the best shot was produced by Bunratty. In the 9th minute, John Ryan picked up the clearance from a corner and his power-packed 18-yard shot was kneed off the line by O'Brien.
The home side had a good chance themselves in the opening minute of the second period. O'Sullivan found sub Clifton Gaffney in the box but his shot went off the keeper and away for a fruitless corner.
Indeed, the second period was fruitless and so to penalties. The shootout stayed all square until the third exchange. Then Bunratty’s Adams saw his shot go in off the hands of Calahane while O'Brien drove wide. Advantage Bunratty. Well taken spotters by subs Nigel O'Dea and Patrick Twomey ensured the advantage stayed with the Clare wide and now they entertain Fairview.
Passage: Eric Calahane, Derek O'Brien, Mervyn O'Connor, Paul Coughlan, Gordon Ryan, Mark O'Sullivan, James O'Leary, John Gaffney, Chris McSwiney, Alan Jeffers and Garry Prout. Subs used: Clifton Gaffney for Jeffers (66th minute), Simon McGarry for McSweeney (82nd) and Gavin O'Connor for Prout (107th).
Bunratty: Darren Whelan, Derek Byrne, Richard Lillis, David Hogan, Darren Ryan, Con Collins, David Considine, Declan Adams, Noel Collins, John Ryan and Brian Casey. Subs used: Patrick Twomey for Casey (69th minute), Sean McDaid for Collins (78th) and Nigel O'Dea for Considine (97th).
Referee: Tony Horgan.