Tramore 3; Saint Saviours 2
Tramore booked a ticket into the third Round of the Munster Cup in thrilling fashion last week in Graun Park thanks to a 3-2 win over St Saviours in what was a rip-roaring cup tie.
The game had been postponed on two previous occasions for one reason or another but ultimately, it was well worth the waiting.
Incidentally the two outfits meet once again this Friday in the FAI Junior Cup and we’ll be looking for more of the same from two fine teams.
Alfie Hale, who was in the Tramore camp as coach when they won the Premier League is now in charge of St Saviour’s and will be looking forward to returning to Graun Park this weekend.
Ex-Waterford United player Kevin O’Brien scored the winning goal with the only sour note of the evening provided by ex-Blue Joe Watson, who was sent off for a touch of the ‘dying swan’ in the game’s final stages.
Played on a perfect Graun Park surface, John Paul Jacob played Brian O’Donoghue inside the opening 60 seconds, only for the Saviours man to fire wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Tramore looked uncertain in defence during the early exchanges and when Stephen Dalton turned provider for Jacob on 13 minutes, his left-footed strike flashed inches over the crossbar with goalkeeper AJ Murray flatfooted.
Match winner O’Brien thought he has opened the scoring less than four minutes later when he latched onto a Micheal Downey pass following great work from man of the match Leigh Quilty.
But his right-footed effort from 16 yards found the side netting with Graham Cleary struggling.
The opening goal arrived on 19 minutes when the home side felt that they had scored a perfectly legitimate goal after Leigh Quilty’s right-wing flag kick flew past keeper Cleary. However, referee Noel Purcell ruled the goal out for a push on a Saviours defender.
From the resulting free kick, the visitors took the lead as Cleary found Stephen Dalton out on the left-wing.
His pin-point cross found the head of John Paul Jacob, with the latter powered in an unstoppable header past a helpless AJ Murray from eight yards.
It was a goal that his side deserved after dominating the opening quarter but Tramore could have been level with the final chance of an exciting first half.
Christopher Grace, who was on the receiving end of a rash challenge after releasing the ball, to Micheal Downey, was denied by a brilliant save from Graham Cleary.
The second period was less than four minutes old when the home side was back on level terms.
A classic passing move saw Joe Watson flick an exquisite pass to Downey, who in return set up Leigh Quilty and he slipped a left-footed shot past keeper Cleary.
But St Saviours were back in front on 63 minutes when John Paul Jacob whipped in a left-wing free kick that wasn’t dealt with by AJ Murray. The ball broke to the alert Timmy Ryan who fired into the back of an empty net from close range.
However the lead lasted less than 32 seconds! From the kick off, Quilty played a brilliant pass into the path of Micheal Downey who burst into the penalty area and drilled the ball home. Befitting a cup tie, the game was back in the melting pot.
Quilty could have scored the goal of the season on 69 minutes following a superb move that saw Francis Rockett, Kevin O’Brien, Ross Douglas and Downey involved. The ball fell at the feet of Quilty but he couldn’t direct his close range effort on target.
The home side did find a goal less than 60 seconds later when Kevin O’Brien scored from what looked an impossible angle on the left-side of the penalty area, having raced onto a flicked Francis Rockett.
Colin Keane had a chance to level late on but his shot was brilliantly saved by Murray before Joe Watson saw red for a second yellow card after going down far too easy on the edge of the penalty area.
Tramore will travel to West Waterford-East Cork outfit Kilworth in the next round.
Tramore: AJ Murray, Ross Douglas, Steven O’Shea, Martin Whelan, Ian Stenson, Francis Rockett, Kevin O’Brien, Christopher Grace, Micheal Downey, Leigh Quilty and Joe Watson.
Subs: Dwayne Ormonde for Christopher Grace (HT) and John Power for Downey (86 mins)
St Saviours: Graham Cleary, Patrick Farrell, Philip Penkert, Clifton Power, Colin Keane, Anthony Jacob, John Paul Jacob, Brian O’Donoghue, Billy Barron, Stephen Dalton, Timmy Ryan
Subs: Aaron O’Neill for Dalton (51 mins), Joe Twomey for Power (58 mins) and Wayne Kelly for Barron (63 mins)
Referee: Noel Purcell.