Tramore 2; Villa 1
Tramore went into this game on Saturday night last three points clear of second-placed Villa. The Graun Park outfit had a total of 16 points from their 6 games played to date. The visitors knew the importance of the game, as a win would have moved them level with the home outfit. They gave everything possible but they came up just a little bit short.
The previous week Villa had made their exit from the Munster Junior Cup to Johnville and therefore they badly needed a morale boosting result, but playing an in-form Tramore on their own patch was not what they wanted to try and get that all-important victory.
There was plenty of good football played during the course of the game on what is an absolutely superb playing surface. Goalmouth action was not plentiful but that fact did not take away from what was an excellent contest from the opening whistle to the final whistle.
Downey on mark
Tramore took the lead after 13 minutes and the score proved to be a classic, all that is good about the current team. Francis Rockett began the move by passing the Stephen Grant who in turn set Sean Browne on his way. He played the ball back to Stephen Grant who released Leigh Quilty who flicked the ball on to Micheal Downey and the player signed from Dungarvan United a few moths back gave the Villa goalkeeper Liam Kavanagh no chance with a right-footed shot from 16 yards. It was a sweeping move which left the Villa side rocked.
Despite that early goal, Tramore seemed content to wait for another opening and it was the visitors who almost equalised on 27 minutes. Conor McDonald produced a fine save from Stephen Gahan after he got on to the end of a cross from Des Mullett from the right. Mullett injured himself getting in that cross and he had to be replaced by Declan Furlong. He went on to enjoy a very good game for the Connors Park club.
It looked as if Tramore would go in leading at half-time but they conceded a goal just before the short whistle. Referee Tony Walsh awarded a free kick when Sean Browne was deemed guilty of a late tackle. Conor McDonald let fly from 25 yards and his well-struck effort gave Stephen Gahan no chance whatsoever. That goal really put the fat into the fire.
Moments after that goal McDonald almost scored again after he raced past the home defence but shot from an acute angle out on the left went inches wide of the far upright.
The goal that proved to be the winner also came from a free kick. This time Villa defender Ian O’Sullivan clipped Sean Browne from behind 25 yards out. Leigh Quilty lined up the ball and he also found the net with real class. Liam Kavanagh did make a brave effort to reach the ball but it nestled in the bottom left corner of the net.
Stephen Gahan was called into action for Tramore on 67 minutes as the visitors went in search of a second equaliser. Defender Ian Stenson tried to clear a dangerous attack but all he could do was play the ball into the path of Declan Furlong who let fly at goal but Gahan produced a flying save.
At the other end Furlong did well to block a shot from Micheal Downey. Villa piled forward during the final minutes, and indeed the five extra minute of injury time but they just could not get the goal which would have kept the gap to three points on the league table.
Tramore are looking good but it is worth remembering that there is still eleven games to be played and there will be a lot of twist and turns along the way between now and the season’s end.