Waterford Crystal 1; Dungarvan United 2
Having lost to Bohemians in the FAI Junior Cup and then crashing out of the Munster Cup to Johnville, the players and management of Waterford Crystal were glad to say goodbye to 2008, but sadly from their point of view the new year got off to the worst possible start also on Sunday last when they lost to a Dungarvan side who are scrapping for points at the wrong end of the table.
This result leaves them a massive 13 points behind the leaders Tramore and their season is in danger of petering out big style. Dungarvan on the other hand will be more than happy to take all three points as the positive result keeps them ahead of bottom club Johnville who took the scalp of high flying Villa.
It is going to be a real dog fight at the bottom and come the end of the season the Old Borough outfit may look back at this game and regard it as the day they took a giant step to keeping their Premier League status.
The opening 45 minutes did not produce much in the way of scoring chances. Robbie Butler of Crystal did get float in a fine corner kick from the left on eight minutes. His delivery found the head of Keith Sheridan but the midfield player was unable to direct his header on target. Both sides huffed and puffed after that effort and it was not until the 29th minute that the next piece of action unfolded. David Condon, the visiting defender got in a fine cross from the right which was picked up by Gavin Crotty who shot at goal but his effort which received a slight deflection went wide of Derek Hearne’s goal.
Late, late winner
Two minutes into the second half, Keith Sheridan took a corner kick from the right which was met by Paul Quilty but his header came back off the woodwork. Derek Hearne came to the rescue of Crystal on 54 minutes when he saved from Nicky Donnelly following great work by Gavin Crotty and Shane Kelly.
Dungarvan continued to press forward and they did eventually break the deadlock on 62 minutes. Nicky Donnelly played a delightful ball forward to Gavin Crotty who beat the offside trap with Derek Hearne advancing from his goal, Crotty lobbed the ball with his right foot over the Crystal goalkeeper.
Nine minutes later, Waterford Crystal got back on level terms. Gavin Roche and Paul Quilty combined well before passing to Martin Tynan who in turn laid the ball off Joe Watson who cracked the ball past the visiting goalkeeper Alan Landers.
Robbie Butler had a chance to win the game for the home side five minutes later when he was put clear by Gavin Roche but he shot high over the bar from a very good position.
It looked as if the points would be shared but it was Dingarvan who came up with the first shock of 2009, deep into injury time. Shane Kelly somehow managed to get the ball deep into the Crystal penalty area and full back David Condon, who somehow had managed to get a little bit of space inside the penalty area, hooked the ball past Derek Hearne.
There was no way back for the home side, because quite simply there was no more time.
Waterford Crystal: Derek Hearne, Gavin Roche, Jimmy Barden, Mitcchel Casey, Jason Foran, Conor Fell, Martin Tynan, Keith Sheridan, Paul Quilty, Joe Watson, Robbie Butler. Subs: Pat Dobbyn for Foran (45 mins), Diarmuid Delehunty for Watson (87 mins).
Dungarvan United: Alan Landers, David Condon, Tommy Butler, Christy Ross-Power, Tony Fitzgerald, Aidan Landers, Chris Jasmisik, Kevin Walsh, Shane Kelly, Nicky Donnelly, Gavin Crotty.
Referee: Paul O’Keeffe.