Juniors into Connacht Cup Last Four   27/04/2015

Mervue Utd 5-0 Iorrais Aonaithe (Connacht Junior Cup Quarter Final)

Juniors advanced to the semi-final of the Connacht Junior Cup after a comfortable 5-0 defeat of Mayo side, Iorrais Aonaithe, at Fahy's Field on Sunday afternoon.

Striker partners Stephen Cunningham and Stephen Larkin both struck twice with goals in either half before sub Eoin Concannon added a late fifth goal to ease the home side into the last four.

From the first minute this game looked like going only one way as the home side forced four corners in the opening seven minutes before Stephen Cunningham finally opened the scoring for an early lead.

It was from that fourth corner the opening score arrived as Alex Lee's delivery found it's way to Tommy Walsh on the edge of the box. The full back's shot was flicked on by Cunningham and across the line despite goalkeeper John Gaughan getting to the ball but the assistant referee flagged for a goal with the ball having crossed the line after just eight minutes.

That lead should have been doubled ten minutes later as Mike Tierney played a lovely ball through for Larkin to run onto but he saw his well struck effort touched onto the crossbar by Gaughan with an excellent stop.

Larkin then had another effort just off target from the edge of the box, while Tierney somehow steered another effort wide of the post after brilliant work from Alex Lee had set him up at the back post after 35 minutes.

The lead was finally doubled on 41 minutes following another excellent passing move from the home side. Eric Browne started the move in his own half with his ball finding Alex Lee who found Mike Tierney in the box and he laid the ball off for Larkin to fire into the corner for 2-0. 

Mervue ended the half with Tommy Walsh going close on two occasions as he headed wide and straight at a relieved Gaughan with the Mayo side trailing 2-0 at the interval when it could honestly have been a lot more.

The home side kept up the pressure after the re-start as Cunningham fired straight at Gaughan from close range following Tommy Walsh's left wing cross two minutes in. The striker did double his tally minutes later as he followed up Dara Ryan's initial shot to knock home the loose ball following another Walsh cross on 55 minutes.

A minute later and it was game over as Larkin benefited from good work from Tierney and Cunningham as he doubled his tally shooting home from just inside the box to make it 4-0.

Sub Eoin Concannon completed the scoring with eleven minutes remaining when he cracked home an effort from inside the box for 5-0. Barry Moran almost made it 6-0 after he exchanged passes with Larkin but his well struck effort just cleared the visitor's crossbar.

The visitors did have a couple of late chances in the final 10 minutes to secure a late consolation goal but a combination of good goalkeeping from John Egan and some good defending ensured a cleansheet as the home side already had their thoughts on a semi-final spot.

That win sets up an all Galway semi-final with local junior rivals Galway Hibernians who defeated Sligo side, City Utd, 3-2 in Bohermore on Sunday afternoon. In fact the Connacht Junior Cup is an all Galway affair now as Athenry will host Corrib Celtic in the other semi-final with the winners of both semi's meeting in an exciting all Galway final in Eamonn Deacy Park in late May. 

Mervue Utd; John Egan; Eric Browne, Tommy Walsh (Aaron Finnerty 75), Robert Connolly (Eoin Concannon 60), Keith McHugh; Alex Lee, Dara Ryan, Derek McWalter, Mike Tierney; Stephen Cunningham (Barry Moran 57),Stephen Larkin. Subs: Evan Browne, Simon Walsh, Darragh Kelly and Peter Healy (GK)

Iorrais Aonaithe: John Gaughan, Eamonn Carey, David Reilly, Niall Geraghty, Steven Nallen (Michael Meenaghan 63); Brendan Nallen, Michael Togher, Kyle Holmes, Gareth O'Malley (Padraig Doherty 72); Thomas Murphy (B Ruddy 55), Peter McArthur.

Connacht Junior Cup Semi-Final Draw

Galway Hibernians v Mervue Utd

Athenry v Corrib Celtic



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