Waterford Crystal 1; Tramore 0
A large crowd turned up on Sunday afternoon to watch this game between the FAI Cup champions of 2006 and a Tramore side who are the current leaders of the Waterford Premier League.
The Seasiders were unbeaten going into the match but they never looked like a table topping side during the course of the 90 minutes. They huffed and puffed all through and the Crystal goalkeeper Derek Hearne had a very easy evening as he was rarely called into action.
Waterford Crystal are past masters at scoring first and then closing out the game and that is what they did once again in this contest. Overall it was not by any means a classic cup tie but that fact won’t worry Crystal in any way as they are the side who will go forward to the next stage.
The first action of the contest arrived after 14 minutes when Dean Rochford of Crystal took a free kick from the right. His ball was met by the head of Paul Quilty but Martin Whelan hacked the ball clear under pressure from a number of Crystal attackers.
Paul Quilty knocked the ball forward with his head following a pass from Dean Rochford on 23 minutes into the path of Joe Watson who curled his effort wide from just outside the penalty area. The only goal of the game was a good one and it came from a set piece. Robbie Butler took a free kick from the left. His well struck free was met by the diving Keith Sheridan and his powerful downward header went under the body of the Tramore goalkeeper Stephen Gahan. The remainder of the first half produced very little in the way of positive football.
Tramore, who have won a lot of games this season in the second half, tried their best to try and get back on level terms but the Crystal defence soaked up everything that came their way. Michael Downey went close with a free kick after David McEvoy had fouled Leigh Quilty 20 yards from goal but the former Dungarvan player saw his effort go over the crossbar, just as Leigh Quilty did a few minutes later.
Francis Rockett fired in a long ball from the right on 85 minutes which was dropped by Derek Hearne but Mitchell Casey was on hand to kick the ball clear under pressure from Michael Downey.
Crystal went close on two occasions in the dying minutes. Robbie Butler brought a fine save from Stephen Gahan on 88 minutes and one minute later Paul Quilty was just off target with a run and volley from the left.
Waterford Crystal: Derek Hearne, Mitchel Casey, Jimmy Barden, David McEvoy, Conor Fell, Dean Rochford, Martin Tynan, Keith Sheridan, Paul Quilty, Joe Watson, Robbie Butler. Sub: Jason Halloran for Rochford (70 mins).
Tramore: Stephen Gahan, Michael Downey, Stephen O’Shea, Craig Maher, Martin Whelan, Stephen Grant, Francis Rockett, Sean Browne, Michael Downey, Leigh Quilty, Robbie Phelan. Sub: Gary Hunt for Kavanagh (65 mins).
Referee: Noel Purcell.