Penalty Shootout Delight for Juniors   30/05/2018

Connacht Junior Cup Final 2018, Sligo Showgrounds

Carbury FC 1-1 Mervue Utd (AET)

Mervue Utd won 7-6 on penalties

Mervue Utd captured a seventh Connacht Junior Cup title as they eventually prevailed against Sligo Super league champions, Carbury FC, in a dramatic penalty shootout at the Sligo Showgrounds last Sunday afternoon.

The Healy name has represented the club very well down through the years and it was cousin’s Paul and Peter Healy who proved to be Mervue’s hero’s after 110 minutes of normal play and extra time couldn’t separate the two teams. After twelve penalties had been expertly converted and in sudden death it was centre back Paul who coolly slotted home the seventh penalty and Peter completed the job saving Carbury FC captain Gary Finan’s penalty for a 7-6 victory.

Gareth Gorman and Noel McDonnell’s side had got off to a flying start as Enda Curran headed home Tommy Walsh’s delivery into the box after just three minutes for an early 1-0 lead. Curran fired another effort just past the post a minute later and on 17 minutes an Eoin Concannon ball picked the unmarked striker out in the box but he mis-hit a tame effort straight into the gratefully arms of Carbury goalkeeper Mark Rooney.

Carbury should have been level six minutes later but Gary Finan pulled his effort wide of Colm Power’s post after latching onto a clever ball into the box from strike partner Gareth Kelly. After that huge let off Mervue should have doubled their lead as Jason Molloy did brilliantly on the right before floating a perfect ball into the danger area but Enda Curran saw his header fly the wrong side of Rooney’s post on 36 minutes. Curran then flashed another shot just wide of Rooney’s right hand post a minute later.

Mervue were to rue not adding to that early goal as Carbury drew level two minutes before the break. Winger Chris Kelly delivered a great corner in under Colm Power’s crossbar and with Mervue failing to clear the danger, centre back Steve Feeney finished the ball to the back of the net as the sides went in level at the break.

Seven minutes after the break Curran set up Jason Molloy, after a driving run into the box, but the winger’s effort struck the crossbar. At the other end Barry O’Mahoney fired wide after he latched onto a Finan laid off inside the box. Carbury had strong appeals for a penalty just past the hour mark as Ross McLoughlin’s strong run was halted by Mark Griffin but referee Eugene Deering deemed the foul was committed on the edge of the box and awarded a free-kick which O’Mahoney fired over.

Mervue threatened from a corner kick on 66 minutes after good work from Tommy Walsh and Jason Molloy set up Eric Browne for a header but his goalwards effort was cleared. Carbury quickly broke up field for a three on one situation as Mervue got caught pushing forward but left back Aaron Murrin fired past Colm Power’s post as Mervue supporters breathed a huge sigh of relief. A very tense final twenty minutes saw no further chances as the game proceeded to extra time.

Carbury almost took the lead in the opening half of extra time as Finan got in behind the Mervue defence but Colm Power saved the striker’s low effort brilliantly. In the second period Stephen Larkin almost provided a winner as he powerfully headed Eoin Concannon’s corner delivery just over Rooney’s crossbar.

An exhibition of penalty kicks was to follow as Jason Molloy, Stephen Larkin, Eoin Concannon, Simon Walsh, Barry Moran, Aaron Finnerty and Paul Healy all converted expertly as Carbury also converted their first six penalties in a very tense and exciting shootout. Peter Healy, who had only been introduced as a sub in the final minute of extra time, brilliantly saved Carbury’s seventh penalty from Finan to send the large Mervue support into celebration.

After the game Ann Marie Brennan presented Mervue Utd captain Aaron Finnerty with the TP Brennan Connacht Junior Cup to claim a seventh provincial title for the club, as he repeated the feat of his father, Bryan, who also captained a Mervue Utd winning side back in 1991.

Carbury FC: Mark Rooney, Colm Jinks (Daniel Smith 105), Aaron Murrin, Steve Feeney, Johnny Lynch;  Mark McGoldrick (Kealon Kenoy 107), Barry O’Mahoney, Ross McLoughlin, Christopher Kelly, Gareth Kelly, Gary Finan (C).

Subs not used: John Gaffney, David Adams, Danny O’Leary, Ciaran Boyle, Andrew McLoughlin.

Mervue Utd: Colm Power (Peter Healy 109), Aaron Finnerty (C), Tommy Walsh, Keith McHugh (Paul Healy 74), Eric Browne; Jason Molloy, Mark Griffin (Ciaran Foley 70), Stephen Larkin, Eoin Concannon; Barry Moran, Enda Curran (Simon Walsh 82)

Subs not Used; Gary Bailey, Emmett Shaw, Mike Tierney. Kevin Fitzpatrick, Tommy Molloy, Alex Schmidt.

Referee- Eugene Deering (Roscommon)



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