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Nostalgia MOTD 05.11.05: Ballyphehane Celtic 3 Douglas Hall 3

FAI JUNIOR CUP 05.11.2005

Ballyphehanex Celtic 3 Douglasx Hall 3
(Douglas Hall won 4-2 on penalties, after extra time)

Two goal Jason Martin stroked home the final shootout penalty to bring the curtain down on a thrilling southside derby in the Statoil FAI Junior Cup.

Two up after less than four minutes, the Hall seemed set for a stroll in Pfizer Park. But Ballyphehane had other ideas. They got one back before the break. But then razor sharp Martin struck for his second less than three minutes into the second half and it looked all over for Celtic.

Marauding full back Joe Ryan, with no little assistance from man of the match Jonathan Murphy, gave the hoops hope with a 53rd minute strike, but the Hall with Mark O’Connell excellent in the middle of the back four, frustrated Celtic.

And it looked like game set and match to Douglas until Ballyphehane skipper Philip Long came up with a marvellous over the shoulder injury time strike from 18 yards, a skilful effort that sailed over gallant keeper Gary Aherne, the Hall skipper, and into the net via the far post.

Each side had their chances in extra time but it came down to the shootout. Aherne saved one and a Ballyphehane miss meant that a Martin conversion would put the Hall through to round four. The deadly marksman gave Alan Crowley no chance to be a hero and Douglas moved forward on a 4-2 count.

The goal flow started as early as the 3rd minute when an error in the Ballyphehane defence was clinically punished by Steve Barry, Martin's efficient strike partner.

Martin fired in the first of his afternoon double a minute later. Midfielder Ger O’Donovan burst through and his work was rewarded when Martin shot high past keeper Crowley to make it 2-0.

Celtic never lost the faith and soon Hall keeper, and skipper, Gary Aherne was earning his corn. In the 9th minute, he made a terrific close–in save from Damien Farrelly (put in by Alan O'Mahony) and sixty seconds later made an easier one from the same attacker.

Errors were still cropping home in the home back-line and a Barry chip had keeper Crowley back-pedalling to save in the 21st minute. At the other end, Aherne saved well from Danny Long’s 25th minute header before a thundering free kick by O'Mahony beat him only to spin wide off the angle of bar and post.

Action all the way in this one, though there was a temporary halt when Douglas lost Dave O’Connell through injury. They then wasted a good opportunity when Barry failed to convert before Celtic got one back in the 40th minute. Eric Dunlea robbed his marker, made ground along the end-line before shooting, Aherne parried and Farrelly scored. And Aherne made two fine saves before the half closed, one from Farrelly, the other from the highly impressive O’Mahony.

Celtic manager Dave O’Mahony had been hoping for a better start to the second half but he was disappointed. Less than three minutes in, his defence leaked again and Martin met a deflected cross by Steve O’Connell and steered it neatly between the outstretched right hand of Crowley and the post to make it 3-1.

Ballyphehane revived their comeback hopes with a good goal in the 53rd minute. Trevor Dunlea supplied a great cross, man of the match Jonathan Murphy knocked it down in the box and raiding full back Joe Ryan beat Aherne to the touch.

Douglas came close in the following minutes. Ger O’Donovan mis-kicked when well placed and then a snap shot by Martin was very well saved by Crowley.

There was another injury blow for the Hall in the 66th minute when Steve O’Connell went off with a facial injury after an accidental aerial clash with Danny Long.

The Hall should have made it 4-2 in the 75th minute but sub John McCarthy headed over when well placed, after a sweet move involving Gavin Draper, Barry and Martin.

Douglas had luck on their side three minutes later. Aherne was unable to cut out a free by Murphy but neither Bennett nor Eric Dunlea, at the far post, could convert.

Ballyphehane equalised, just after a Crowley error that went unpunished. The goal, a gem, came in the 4th minute of injury time. The under pressure Douglas defence just couldn't get the ball away but there seemed little danger as it broke to Philip Long on the 18 yard line.

After all, the defender had his back to goal. No problem for the Celtic skipper whose over the shoulder effort flew past Aherne and went in via the far post to make it 3-3.

The Hall keeper made a brilliant save to deny Celtic sub Dave Atkins in extra time and so to spotters where Aherne and Martin combined to make it a happy hour for the Douglas visitors.

Ballyphehane Celtic: Alan Crowley, Joe Ryan, Wayne Hogan, Philip Long (captain), Dave Bennett, Danny Long, Jonathan Murphy, Trevor Dunlea, Alan O’Mahony, Damien Farrelly and Eric Dunlea. Subs used: Dave Atkins and Trevor Ward for Bennett and D. Long (both 80th minute).

Douglas Hall: Gary Aherne (captain), Kevin O’Sullivan, Damien McNamara, Leonard O’Donovan, Mark O’Connell, Ger O’Donovan, Dave O’Connell, Paddy White, Jason Martin, Steve Barry and Steve O’Connell. Subs used: John McCarthy for D. O’Connell (32nd minute, injured), Gavin Draper for S. O’Connell (66th, injured) and Wayne O’Connell for Draper (89th, injured).

Referee: Sean Hegarty.