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Oct

7

FAI Junior Cup Rd 1

By admin

 

FAI Junior Cup – Round 1

SWINFORD FC 1 KILLALA AFC 0

A HEADED effort from Trevor McDonnell eight minutes into the second half of this cup tie on Sunday afternoon proved the crucial difference between the sides, in a closely-fought match which hung in the balance until the very end.

In a first half which saw neither team fully grab hold of the game, Killala were first to threaten, with  Marc McDonnell working well down the right flank before seeing his attempted cross fly just over the Swinford crossbar.

A quick Swinford response ended with McDonnell playing through strike-partner Alan Carter, but his tame shot was easily saved. Arguably the best chance of the opening period fell to Swinford’s Robbie Quinn after 11 minutes. A well-placed corner from McDonnell found Quinn in the box, but his thundering header flew just wide of Sean McHale’s right-hand post.

Killala came close just a few minutes later, as good work from Mark McLoughlin released Noel McLeish, but his cross floated just out of reach for Noone.

Killala were hit with a heavy blow towards the end of the half, as midfielder Ronan Heffron, who had been dominating the centre of the field, was forced to make way with a knee injury, to be replaced by Alan Murphy as Swinford finished the half strongly.

The home side also began the second period brightly. Centre-half Niall Feeney, who was excellent throughout, saw his header from a Matt Gallagher pass clear the crossbar, before Páid Noone had a golden chance to put his team ahead.

A precision pass from Quinn cut the entire Killala defence out, and allowed Noone a one-on-one meeting with McHale, but his clever lob landed inches over the bar.

Nevertheless, the feeling was that Swinford’s breakthrough was only a matter of time, and so it turned out. In the 53rd minute a huge goalkick from Conor Campbell travelled to the Killala penalty area.

None of the Killala defenders were willing to attack it, allowing the ball to bounce all of three times, before McDonnell leapt higher than the onrushing McHale to put his side in front.

Killala refused to be easily beaten, and continued to push forward in search of the equaliser, but what chances they had of finding it were severely hindered when striker Mícheál Noone went down with a knee injury with 20 minutes to play. Having used all of their available substitutes at that stage, Killala were forced to play out the game with 10 men.

This release of pressure for the Swinford defence allowed them to really take control of the match, and close the game out clinically. Indeed, the winning margin could have been doubled in the final minutes, as substitute Adrian Moran found himself unmarked in front of goal, only for his effort to be well blocked.

SWINFORD: Conor Campbell, Niall Feeney, Peter Quinn, Tom Kavanagh, Nigel Sweeney, Robbie Quinn, Keith Regan, Matt Gallagher, Alan Carter, Trevor McDonnell, Páid Noone. Subs: Shane Holleran (for Carter 58), Declan Campbell (for Gallagher 70), Adrian Moran (for McDonnell 75).

KILLALA: Seán McHale, Matt Webb, David Caden, Mark McLoughlin, Aidan Ferguson, Johnny McNulty, Ronan Heffron, Brendan Ryan, Noel McLeish, Micháel Noone, Marc McDonnell . Subs: Alan Murphy (for Heffernan 37), Kevin White (for Ryan (55).

Referee: Mick Regan

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