Grattan United A 1-1 Corkbeg (Grattan won 3-0 on pens aet)
It needed extra time and then penalties before Grattan United A advanced to the third round of the Munster Junior Cup after a 3-0 penalty shoot-out victory over Corkbeg following a 1-1 draw over extra time at Mayfield United’s all-weather facility.
It was difficult to see this cup tie making it to extra time after Grattan United’s dominance over the first 45 minutes when their lead could have been a lot more than 1-0.
But, a terrific performance from the Premier A leaders that was so full of exuberance in the second period had the Premier side on the back foot and in fact, with a bit more craft and guile from the East Cork side in the final third, they could have achieved a shock result.
However, when it came to the penalty shoot-out, Corkbeg’s penalty kicks were pretty poor as Grattan slammed all three of their spot-kicks home with great aplomb.
Grattan applied the early pressure almost immediately and after Cian Hawkins’ low effort whistled narrowly wide, a corner from Keith Harris reached Eric Shinkwin who headed backwards for John Paul O’Sullivan who tried an audacious over-head kick that was blocked by a sea of bodies in front of goal.
A great chance followed for Grattan when after John Paul O’Sullivan’s ball bounced off a defender, it came into the path of Christy Bullman who headed agonisingly wide.
Corkbeg were finding it difficult to settle into the game and another half chance fell for the Premier side when Michael Kent fires wide after a cushioned assist from Mark O’Sullivan.
A neat move followed and commenced with Eric Shinkwin finding Gary Coughlan with a lovely weighted pass into space.
Coughlan controlled before picking out Cian Hawkins with a low cross, but a terrific block from Dylan O’Neill saved the day.
John Paul O’Sullivan then swivels before dinking over with an effort from the edge of the box.
This was a difficult time for the Beg now, and they were unlucky to not have fallen behind when John Paul O’Sullivan exchanged passes with Gary Coughlan before rifling agonisingly over.
But, the inevitable happened when a ball across the box bounces kindly for Gary Coughlan to head home from close range on 27 minutes.
The second half was just minutes in when Jordan Ryan curls a decent effort wide from Alan Hogan’s assist.
Corkbeg were certainly starting to stamp their authority on the tie now and a nice run from Alan Hogan saw him create some space for himself, but over elaboration aborted his chance in the end.
Corkbeg continued to enjoy plenty of possession as they started to control proceedings now and were rewarded for their endeavours with an equaliser coming from Alan Hogan when he collected from David Hickman before hooking delicately over the on-coming James Byrne to restore parity once again on 70 minutes.
The East Cork side continued to take the game to Grattan with Hogan playing it inside for Aherne who tries to pick out Tariq Tynan in a good position, but there was too much on the pass and a decent opportunity went – shortly before referee Tom McCarthy brought closure to normal time.
Within one minute of extra time, Grattan almost made their mark for the second time, but what a save we saw from John Manning when he stretched to tip a scorching effort ‘round the post from John Paul O’Sullivan.
In the second period of extra time, a great chance fell for the Beg when Killian O’Driscoll’s corner came for Stephen O’Halloran, but he headed wide.
But, when it came to the penalty shoot-out, Grattan ran out 3-0 winners in the end.