Drama at O'Neill Park as Grattan Secures Semi-Final Berth in Linnane League Cup. Blast from the Past

LINNANE LEAGUE CUP - September 2003 - #blastfromthepast

Grattan United 3 Park United 1

Grattan Utd

A Dramatic Battle at O'Neill Park: Grattan United Secures Semi-Final Berth in 2003/04 Linnane League Cup

Rewind to September 2003! O'Neill Park is abuzz with anticipation as Grattan United and visitors Park United clash in a nail-biting encounter for a Murphy's Stout Linnane League Cup semi-final slot. With both teams level on points, the stakes couldn't be higher.

Park Utd

Park United on the Offensive, But Grattan Holds Firm

Park United, who led the group going into the game, started strong, dominating possession and peppering the Grattan goal. However, the resolute Grattan back four, marshalled by keeper Adam Lynch, stood firm. Darren Geaney, a towering figure at centre-half, even surprised everyone by venturing forward to head home the opening goal in just the 9th minute!

Grattan's Darren Geaney heads clear against Kieran Duggan.

A Moment of Concern and Missed Chances

The first half continued in a similar vein, with Park dictating play but failing to capitalise. A worrying moment arose when referee Tony Horgan went down with an ankle injury. Thankfully, after some first aid from both sides, he was able to resume his duties. Park squandered several golden opportunities early in the second half, with Simon Maher and Tony Graham missing clear-cut chances.

Kieran Cotter heads on for Park

Grattan Doubles Down and Secures the Win

The tide turned very much in Grattan's favour in the 70th minute when Paul Lynch, another Grattan centre-half, rose above the Park defence to head home from a corner. The game turned feisty, with a fierce collision between Lynch and Maher highlighting the competitive spirit on display. Grattan put it to bed in the 78th minute when John Kelleher was brought down in the box. Denis Cremin stepped up coolly and converted the penalty, sending the Grattan faithful into raptures.

Grattan's Paul Lynch (4) gets in behind John Geary and heads the ball past Park keeper
Eamonn O'Connor to make it 2-0. 

A Consolation Goal and a Lesson Learned

A late goal from Michael Maher offered a glimmer of hope for Park, but it was too little, too late. Grattan's superior goal difference proved to be the deciding factor, sending them through to the semi-finals at Park's expense. This match was a testament to the grit and determination of the Grattan defence, who shut down a potent Park attack and ultimately secured a well-deserved victory and a place in the last four alongside Greenmount, Leeside and Villa Utd.

Grattan's Barry O'Rourke goes highest to win midfield header. 

 Grattan United: Adam Lynch, Denis Cremin, Owen Kiely, Paul Lynch, Darren Geaney, Barry O'Rourke, John Kelleher, Graham Forde, Eric Shinkwin, Derek O'Driscoll and Damien Peelo. Subs used: Harry Goulding for O'Driscoll (56th minute) and John O'Riordan for O'Rourke (79th).

Park Utd: Eamonn O'Connor, Eddie Murphy, Tony Mohally, Tony Graham, John Geary, Michael Maher, Kieran Duggan, Noel Roche, Kenneth Barry, Michael Hanley and Simon Maher. Subs used: Kieran Walsh for Hanley (66th minute), Colm Courtney and Sean O'Brien for Roche and Barry (both 79th).

Referee: Tony Horgan.

Park's Kieran Walsh beats Darren Geaney in the air. 

Grattan's Eric Shinkwin in control against Kieran Duggan.