Villa 1; De La Salle 1 (AET; Villa won 4-3 on pens)
Adam Donovan proved to be the hero for Villa as he saved twice in a dreaded penalty shootout as his side got the better of De La Salle at Connor’s Park on Saturday morning last.
The netminder made two excellent penalty saves from Mark Sunderland and Dylan Foley as the Liam Connors led outfit got revenge after losing to the same opposition on penalties in the under 11 cup final last season.
It was a very entertaining cup clash between two sides that gave their all throughout the hour and saw the victors come from behind to advance into the last 32 stage of the cup.
Villa looked the better team in terms of creating chances and it has to be said that they looked the more likely of the two sides to score but when they fell behind to a goal from Ian Coady, they had to battle back.
In fairness to De La Salle, they did go into this game as underdogs but they battled very hard and it was clear that they wanted to win but they seemed to panic once they took the lead and they were to be left bitterly disappointed in the shootout.
The first chance of the game arrived on nine minutes when a Mark Walsh right-wing cross was met at the back post by Conor Jacob and he should have done better but was denied by an excellent save from the keeper.
Austin Gleeson was narrowly over the bar on 25 minutes when getting on the end of a Walsh corner kick but he just couldn’t keep his chance on target and before the sound of the half time whistle, Jacob saw an effort deflected wide after yet another Walsh cross.
Conor Whittle went really close to giving his side the lead on 35 minutes when he got on the end of a pass from Jamie Walsh but his cracking right-footed effort just sailed over the bar before the visitors went in front on 41 minutes.
After a mix-up in the Villa defence, it was Ian Coady, who took advantage to finish past the helpless Adam Donavan, who had raced off his line to try and cut out the danger but the home side levelled six minutes from time.
Tommy Power free kick from the right deceiving De La Salle goalkeeper James O’Neill and in the final minutes, Gleeson tested O’Neill with a long range free kick but the keeper saved.
Very little happened in extra time and when the game went to penalties, Tommy Power, Mark Walsh, Tadgh Whelan and Liam Coonagh were all successful for Villa, while Jamie Walsh, Reece Galvin and Evan Curran scored for De La Salle.
VILLA: Adam Donavan, Tommy Power, Lee Crowley, Austin Gleeson, Craig Browne, Karim Adbou, Mark Whelan, Tadgh Whelan, Niall McCabe, Evan O’Donnell, Gavin Jacob, Niall Foley, Sean Murphy, Liam Coonagh, Jordan Meyer, Adam Doyle and Aidan Purcell.
DLS: James O’Neill, Jason Crowley, Mark Sunderland, Jack McGrath, Dylan Foley, Conor Whittle, Bobby Finn, Ian Coady, Joshu Aihuiri, Jamie Walsh, Dean Walsh, Reece Galvin, Chris Doran, Evan Curran, James Robinson, Ross Leonard and Stephen Coad.
Referee: Jimmy White (Johnville)