FAI Junior Cup Last 16: Killarney Athletic 2 Clonmel Town 4

Seniors FAI Junior Cup Last 16
Killarney Athletic 2 Clonmel Town 4
The seniors put up a brave battle against a physically strong Clonmel Town side but will rue their errors after letting the opposition back into the game in the second half. It may have been heart over head in the press but the boys went out all guns blazing to prove a point against a side with significant history in this competition.
Clonmel had most of the play early on, putting a direct style into action but David Looney and Michael Moloney were up for the challenge, with Galen Carroll also showing well.
Athletic drew first blood when Rory O’ Sullivan volleyed home over the flailing Clonmel keeper after a through ball from Martin Crowley. Crowley came more into it after this but Clonmel were a constant threat. Athletic spent the next period attacking on the break and playing deep, relying on Timmy O’ Sullivan, Moloney, Lucas Polak and Brian O’ Reilly to keep out the Tipp men.
Some good work down the left saw Athletic win a corner on 35 minutes. A short one from O’Sullivan to O’Reilly found Polak. He beat the keeper with a fine header to leave the home side two to the good, with the Clonmel men shocked to the core.
A tendency by the home side to clear the ball without much direction put pressure on coming up to half-time and Clonmel claims for a penalty were ignored. Fair play to the team for an impressive rearguard performance up to half time.
An injury to Edward O’ Sullivan made room for Eoin O’Connell and Athletic seemed to resort to a 4-5-1 formation. Crowley had a chance down the right but the ball didn’t come down in time for a clear strike on goal. Moloney stood out with his strong tackling and presence in the middle of the park but even he couldn’t prevent Clonmel’s first which came 16 minutes into the half after a spell of pressure.
The departure of Moloney due to injury seemed to spell the end for the home side when Clonmel pounced for the equaliser after a lapse in the Athletic defence.
Clonmel sensed a victory but Athletic finished the stronger and had plenty of possession in the last 15. Carroll, O’Reilly, O’Connell, Rory O’Sullivan and substitute Shane Bunyan pressed on to the end but the game headed for extra time.

The additional period all but put paid to whatever momentum Athletic had at the end of ordinary time. Clonmel silenced a vocal home support with an early goal despite some initial Athletic pressure. Number four came with five left in the second period and although Athletic tried to the end, there was no way through the experience of the visitors.
Clonmel will be happy to progress to the next round having received a fright to say the least but here’s hoping the lads can bounce back immediately and keep up their challenge for a trophy. The team ethic and willingness to battle was clear to see and with a bit of luck things could have gone our way. Well done lads for a great effort and it’s upwards and onwards for the rest of the season!

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 14th, 2010 at 5:36 pm and is filed under Club Notes.