Match details below
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MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP QUARTER-FINAL
Village United 2 Tralee Dynamoes 2
Village United were caught by a last minute equaliser and now face a tough away trip against Tralee Dynamoes. Village led twice in Saturday’s Lucozade Sport Munster Junior Cup quarter-final at Silverheights but the visitors, quite a good footballing side, came back on each occasion and are now the firm favourites to reach the semi-final.
It was a game that Village should have won. Richard Burns struck to give them an early advantage but their backs got in each other’s way to present Tralee with the softest of equalisers in the first half.
Village skipper Conor Jones scored early in the second half but Village didn't go for the jugular. Jones had scored from a free but stayed at home when similar frees followed. Still, it looked as if Village had done enough until caught by that late shot from the influential Kevin Lucey.
The weather wasn’t the best and hindered both teams. Heavy sleety showers blew across the high ground every now and then and the surface got slippery, especially up the middle of the pitch.
Village, known to concede the early goal, got one themselves in the 9th minute, following a long clearance up against the slope by keeper Jamie O’Donovan. The ball broke to Richard Burns and he used his strength as he held off his marker before neatly finishing past Tralee keeper Derek O’Shea.
O’Shea, seven minutes later, was close to being embarrassed by another O’Donovan clearance. This one hopped close to goal and unexpectedly high and the Tralee keeper had to react quickly to push it behind for a corner.
Tralee equalised in the 27th minute. Lucey worked his way across the pitch, some yards outside the box. His through ball though didn't go exactly where he intended and fell between two Village players. But Terry Lotty’s clearance crashed off Conor Jones and fell to Tralee raider Eddie Duggan. He beat the advancing keeper but his shot was blocked on the line by Clive Hurley who, lying in the mud, could do little as Damien Diggins knocked in the loose ball.
It was a huge blow for Village and Lucey was involved again in the 35th minute as Tralee threatened to take over. This time his free from the right fell to the incoming Maurice O’Reilly but his volley was well off the mark.
Village got their act together at the break and regained the lead seven minutes into the second half. Jones broke away from his marker as Jinty O’Sullivan delivered a free into the six-yard box. The first touch wasn't the best but Jones had time for a second and blasted the ball past keeper O’Shea.
Jinty pulled up injured midway through and he was a loss to Village. Tralee switched O’Reilly upfront and he was prominent as they began to worry the home defence in the final quarter.
Still, it looked good for Village as the final minute ticked away. Tralee did get a corner and it was cleared. But the visitors worked the ball up the right and freed Tony Hennessy for a potent low level cross. Keeper O’Donovan failed to cut it out. Lucey stretched to make the shot and it was just good enough to beat two Village defenders who clattered into each other as they tried to keep it out.
Village, to their credit, responded well and had the edge in extra time, at least in terms of chances. In the first period, Conan Burns let fly but O’Shea parried well and, a few minutes later, the big Tralee keeper did very well to punch away a dangerous Village corner.
The second period began with a Tralee chance but Lucey's effort was well blocked by Conan Burns. Village then had two chances and could well rue the misses.
In the 103rd minute, Eric Burns hit a corner kick and Richard headed into the danger area where unmarked sub Will O'Callaghan had a “fresh air” effort as the ball dropped.
With about ninety seconds to go, Terry Lotty hit a magnificent long range free that curled around the back of the defence but the ball somehow eluded Jones and Tralee survived to fight another day.
It could well be a tough day for Village but it is a test that Jones and company will relish and they won't give it up easily.
Village United: Jamie O’Donovan, Clive Hurley, Terry Lotty, David Quirke, Conor Jones, Conan Burns, Eric Burns, Alan O’Brien, Leslie Kepple, Richard Burns and Jonathan O'Sullivan. Subs used: Eric O'Callaghan for Kepple (61st minute) and Will O’Callaghan for O'Sullivan (72nd minute, injured).
Tralee Dynamos: Derek O’Shea, Roland Rodgers, James White, Eoin Cassidy, Maurice O’Reilly, Kevin Lucey, Tony Hennessy, Kevin McCannon, Samier Buenkentin, Damien Diggins and Eddie Duggan. Subs used: Damien Murphy for Diggins (43rd minute, injured) and Rob Reid for Hennessy (98th minute).
Referee: John Lyne.