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Blarney Utd 18s v Grattan Utd 29.05.04. Murphy Cup Grabbed by Classy Grattan

Blarney 18s Grattan 29.05.04
Murphy Cup Grabbed by Classy Grattan

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Blarney United 0 Grattan United 3

Blarney United’s hopes of the Murphy Youth Cup were obliterated by an overwhelming first half performance by favourites Grattan United, the northsiders’ classy efforts embellished with a goal of extravagant proportions by Eric Fleming.

The underdogs were already two down Saturday’s final at the Cross when Fleming struck his gem. John Kearney’s corner from the right was cleared out to the 18 yard line. The ball was falling behind Fleming but he swivelled and his mid-air volley flew spectacularly over the heads in the crowded box and into the roof of the net.

That majestic strike came just five minutes before the break and Grattan went in three up. You’ve heard of the game of two halves. This was a game of one, the first. The second as a non event, almost as if a cease-fire had been called.

Grattan though will savour that first period for a long time to come as they did more than enough to capture the club’s first ever Murphy Cup. It was an excellent team show by the winners with Kearney and Fleming leading the way. Both were contenders for the man of the match award  but that stunning strike meant Fleming took that particular award.

Blarney keeper Michael Crowley was regularly in the action. Kearney was his chief tormentor and he made a string of top class saves from the classy Grattan midfielder before being beaten in the 24th minute. Kearney brings a huge determination to his game and it showed as he broke through the middle. Crowley saved the first shot but Kearney coolly slotted in the rebound.

Fleming made it 2-0 in the 37th minute, twice involved before putting away the return pass from Anthony Magee and his third followed a few minutes later.

There would be no comeback from Blarney, despite the best efforts of players like Gavin Mackey and Ross O’Rourke. But one wonders what would have happened had Blarney taken their first chance of the game.

Grattan had dominated from the opening whistle but their defence hesitated in the 16th and Blarney centre-forward Tim Donovan took advantage to fire a close range drive but deputy keeper John Paul Ricken made a fine stop and Terence O’Connor drove the rebound over the top.

Blarney Utd: Michael Crowley, Darragh Sexton, Killian Ryan, Denis Buckley, Colin Horgan, Terence O’Connor, William Fouhy, Gavin Mackey, Tim Donovan, Dean Foley and Ross O’Rourke. Sub used: Alan Vaughan for O’Connor (54) and Donal Cashman for Ryan (70).
Grattan Utd: John Paul Ricken, Darren Galvin, Colin O’Sullivan, Anthony Peelo, Brian O'Sullivan, John Kearney, Timmy O'Mahony, Eric Fleming, Stephen Walsh, Anthony Magee and Jonathan Walsh. Sub used: Padraig Crowley for Magee (78).
Referee: John Lyne.