AOH Cup – Grattan Utd 3 Corkbeg 2 (after extra time)
Corkbeg exited the AOH Cup at the first hurdle, when they were beaten 3-2 after extra time by fellow Premier Division rivals, Grattan Utd, in horrendous conditions at O Neill Park on Saturday afternoon.
The result was very harsh on Corkbeg, who were the better side for most of the game and really should have advanced to the next round.
Corkbeg were well on top in the opening half and could easily have been a couple of goals to the good. Bobbi Donoghue, in particular, had a couple of great efforts. But, it was the home side who went ahead in fortuitous circumstances on 35 minutes, when a speculative shot from 25 yards by Christy Bullman, found it’s way into the net.
Corkbeg had a decent chance early in the second period, when Tariq Tynan headed narrowly wide and Bobbi Donoghue had a super volley narrowly clear the crossbar. But, on the hour, Corkbeg were level, when Shane Bennett sent a great strike from 30 yards into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.
But, soon afterwards, Grattan nosed in front again, when a cross from the sideline by Anthony Harte drifted over the head of Corkbeg goalkeeper Ray Savage and under the crossbar.
It stayed that way until the final minute, when Corkbeg forced one final corner. The Grattan goalkeeper, who had a fine game throughout, lost the ball in difficult conditions and Stephen O Halloran stabbed home the equaliser to force extra time.
Grattan took the lead again in extra time from another shot from distance by Anthony Harte that found a way past Ray Savage. Aaron Berry came closest to another equaliser when his thumping free kick smashed against the Grattan crossbar.
But luck wasn’t on Corkbegs side and despite a monumental effort by the Whitegate side, it was Grattan who advanced to the next round.
A massive shift was put in by all the Corkbeg squad on Saturday and they deserve huge credit for a fantastic performance in very difficult conditions.
Man of the match goes to Aaron Berry, who edges the vote ahead of Keelan Kennedy, Shane Bennett and Bobbi Donoughue.