The young players of the Villa and Ringmahon Rangers will have to meet once again after referee Tony Walsh quite rightly decided to abandon the game before extra time and perhaps a penalty shoot-out.
The torrential rain which fell all through the hour’s play churned up the playing surface and the players found it impossible to move the ball through the mud.
Ringmahon Rangers will have to return to Waterford from their Cork base on Saturday, February 9th to replay the game as per the rules of the SFAI. Despite the terrible conditions, both teams did their level best to try and play open attacking football but at the end of the day the weather proved to be the real winner.
On what we saw during the 60 minutes of action there will be little or nothing between the sides when they meet again next month. Both outfits are tight in defence and lively in the middle of the park and it will not come as a surprise if extra time and penalties will be required to separate the two teams.
Both sides went out to attack from the opening whistle but defences were on top form. After 15 minutes the Ringmahon player, Paul Lawlor tried his luck from outside the penalty area but his effort went narrowly wide. The Cork outfit then forced three corner kicks in a row, all taken by Simon Irwin but the home defence dealt superbly with his flag kicks.
Roy Kenny then hammered in a free kick from the right which whistled past Brandon O’Callaghan’s far upright. Villa then went close just before half time when Conor Coad passed to Kenneth McEvoy who in turn picked out David Cooley but he shot straight at the Rangers goalkeeper Eric Grimes from inside the penalty area.
Villa on top
The rain lashed down during the half time break and Tony Walsh had to think long and hard about continuing and it was the Villa boy’s who took up the running. Kenneth McEvoy floated over a corner kick from the left after 36 minutes and it looked as if the ball would end up in the net but defender Dale O’Neill headed the ball off the goal-line with the goalkeeper beaten.
One minute later McEvoy picked out Conor Coad with a corner kick, again from the left but Coad’s header went over the crossbar. At this stage the playing surface was unplayable as the rain was lodging on the pitch but with 3 minutes remaining Kenneth McEvoy took off on a super solo run, beating off three tackles before shooting at goal but his brilliant effort went inches wide of Eric Grime’s right upright.
No-one had any complaints when Tony Walsh decided to call a halt to proceedings when he blew the full time whistle. It would have been unfair to ask the youngsters to try and play another 20 minutes and it would have been unfair on the people to look after the pitch also.
We saw enough however to look forward to February 9th when these two sides meet again, as both are superb teams. Hopefully that day will be dry which will give the teams a real opportunity to display their true class.
Villa: Brandon O’Callaghan, Conor Shanahan, Christian Cullen, Tom Mullally, Jamie Cross, Gavin O’Donovan, Kenneth McEvoy, Conor Coad, Daniel Ahearn, Darren Finn, David Cooley. Sub. Walter Croke for Finn (38 mins).
Ringmahon Rangers. Eric Grimes, Raymond Delaney, Sean Kearney, Daniel McCarthy, Vincent Noonan, Dale O’Neill, Simon Irwin, Roy Kenny, Jason Forde, Alan Browne, Paul Lawlor.
Referee: Tony Walsh.