Rathmullan Celtic 0 V 0 Inishvilla FC ( Cork ). ( Inishvilla won 3-1 on penalties ). Rathmullan Celtic made their exit from the FAI Junior Cup as visitors Inishvilla FC from Cork held on with ten men from the last fifteen minutes of normal time and all of extra-time and then kept their nerve in the penalty shoot-out which followed, scoring all three of their penalties as the home side missed three out of the four they took. Dara Patton’s side will feel their left a victory behind them here but football is all about taking at least some of the chances you create and on an ideal for football at Flagpole Park they failed to do that and were made pay by a more than useful Inishvilla side that worked hard for their win to make the long trip home to Cork worthwhile. Wingers Brandon Wilkie and Ryan Connolly caused the visitors some early problems and Kevin Doran had a great chance after a Conor Lynch pass went astray in the 26th minute but Inishvilla captain Ger Rice made an excellent saving tackle to deny him. In the next home attack it was Rice’s turn to give away possession but Connolly shot over from 18 yards. Wilkie then produced a moment of panic for the visitors when he cut in from the right-side and his curling effort was just wide with keeper Lynch scrambling to get to it. Eoin Shierdan was just too high with a shot in the 40th minute and then another let-off for the visitors when team captain Ger Lynch’s somewhat reckless tackle on Rathmullan’ s full-back James Gallagher ended both players participation in the game on the stroke of half-time. Rice was helped from the pitch after receiving just a yellow card from Referee Mick Lagan in what must have been a borderline decision by the official in terms of the colour of the card, the Inishvilla man could have had few complaints if it had been red instead of yellow. The Corkmen started the second-half well and Kevin O Crualaoi went close with a shot, and then home keeper Sean Black produced a super save to deny Jack Walsh’s goalbound header. Rathmullan responded when Connolly set up Eoin Sheirdan but he dragged his shot wide but three minutes later the home side got a big let-off when Inishvilla’s best player Jack Walsh was given too much time and space and his cracking volley smashed off the crossbar with Black beaten. In the 75th minute the away side were reduced to ten men when Brian Crowley got a second yellow card and it almost cost them two minutes later as a quick break from Rathmullan found sub Eamonn Shierdan bursting through and only a quick dash and blocked by keeper Lynch denied the veteran striker. Ryan Connolly’s run and cross caused more problems and in the final minute of normal time half-time sub Declan Mc Garvey’s stinging drive forced Lynch to deflect the ball over the bar. And so to extra-time, O’Crualaoi headed just over after good play by Jack Walsh yet again But a minute later Rathmullan looked to have finally made the breakthrough when Brandon Wilkie’s excellent cross from the right found the head of Eamonn Sheirdan but as he directed it back the way it came keeper Lynch somehow got enough hand on it to deflect the ball onto the crossbar, a truly Brillant save by the keeper. The second period of extra-time produced little in the way of chances as the ten men of Inishvilla held on to send the tie to the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Only Dylan Hegarty scored for Rathmullan as they missed three out of four while Inishvilla’s first three takers all scored to send them through to the last 32 of the Junior Cup and a much shorter trip to Waterford in the next round. It will be back to League action for Rathmullan after the Holiday break and the challenge of improving their current position in the Premier Division. Rathmullan Celtic ; Sean Black , Ray Quinn , James Gallagher, JP Doran , Dylan Hegarty, James Mc Cahill , Ryan Connolly, Eoin Sheridan, Kevin Doran , Alan Boal, Brandon Wilkie. SUBS USED ; Declan Mc Garvey for Gallagher ( h-t ), Eamonn Shierdan for Eoin Shierdan ( 65 mins ). Inishvilla FC ; David Lynch, Shane Nolan, Don Lynch, Aiden Walsh, Brian Crowley , Conor Lynch, Ger Rice ,Jack Walsh, Shaun Ryan , Shane Sullivan , Kevin O Crualaoi . SUBS USED ; Kieran Rice for Ger Rice ( h-t ), Don Lardon and Darragh O Mahoney for Aiden Walsh and Conor Lynch ( both 102 mins ). REFEREE; Mick Lagan . Assistants : Martin Mc Garrigle and Joe Mc Hugh.
Rathmullan Celtic exit FAI Junior Cup after Penalty Shoot-out. Charlie Collins reports
written by Chris McNulty December 17, 2017
Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.
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