Salthill Devon 1
The Villa will play Pike Rovers of Limerick on Sunday, May 22nd in the FAI Junior Cup final following this excellent victory over Salthill Devon in Ozier Park on Sunday afternoon.
The game was turned on its head after only four minutes when the Salthill Devon goalkeeper Arek Hamala was sent off for hacking down Aaron O’Connor outside the penalty area.
For some reason best known to themselves they did not have a standby netminder and as a result an outfield substitute, Tommy McKeown had to take over between the posts and striker Lucas Da Paula had to be withdrawn.
The Villa took full advantage of the situation and raced into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 30 minutes.
Villa’s Dean Walsh is congratulated by his team mates after putting his side 2-0 ahead in the first half.
Villa’s Cian Browne runs towards the bench to celebrate his wonder goal in the first half with team mate Eoghan Rea.
The visitors did come out fighting in the second half and they pulled a goal back on 49 minutes but when Dean Walsh scored his second goal of the contest and Vill’a fourth, the game was well and truly over.
Conor Coad’s men are now just 90 minutes away from emulating Evergreen, Hibernians, Bohemians, Waterford Crystal and Carrick United, the five Waterford League clubs who have won the famous trophy.
This was an extremely polished display by Villa and they can look forward to the greatest day in the club’s history later this month. An all-Munster decider will catch the imagination of all football lovers.
It was the most dramatic opening to the game as the visitors from Galway were reduced to ten men on four minutes when Aaron O’Connor was fouled by the advancing keeper Arek Hamala, and referee Derek O’Shea had little hesitation issuing a straight red to the netminder.
Villa capitalised on that with an opening goal of beauty on 19 minutes when Aaron O’Connor’s magnificent ball sent James Kennedy clear on, and his pin-point cross was superbly finished with a left-footed flick from the boot of Cian Browne.
Villa’s Cian Browne wheels away after scoring a magnificent first goal for his side.
Things got even better for the Connor’s Park outfit as they doubled their lead on 24 minutes when Tommy McKeown, who went between the sticks after Hamala’s dismissal, played a clearance straight to Browne, and he turn squared the ball to Dean Walsh, who powered a right-footed effort high to the roof of the net.
Conor Coad’s men couldn’t believe their luck when they added a third goal six minutes later when Conor Signorelli’s pass found Cian Browne 40 yards from goal, and his ambitious lob of the advancing McKeown found the net with an aid of the hand of the Salthill keeper.
Salthill Devon came storming out at the start of the second half and it was sloppiness from Villa that brought them back into the game on 49 minutes.
A misplaced pass saw Aaron Conway turn provider for Michael Gallagher, who showed superb skill to bring the ball onto his left before rifling it past Craig Dunphy.
Dunphy then made a smart save to deny the Galway side a second goal on 58 minutes when Calym Crowe whipped over a left-wing cross that picked out the run of defender Jackson Da Silva at the back post, but his header was well kept out.
Dean Wash settled the nerves of the Villa faithful when he restored the three goal lead with 62 minutes on the clock. Cian Browne touched the ball out to Aaron O’Connor, who put the ball on the head of the centre forward and he power ed his second goal past keeper Tommy McKeown.
The visitors to the South East kept on fighting to try get back into the game with Craig Dunphy getting down low to save as an effort from full back Cormac Raffery on 68 minutes before a dangerous Michael Gallagher corner kick flew across the face of goal two minutes later.
Ivan Homoki had a chance to put the game to bed on 83 minutes when the attacker, who replaced Dean Walsh, raced onto a through ball on the right-side from Conor Kilgannon, but his right-footed shot just flashed wide of the far post.
Celebration time at the final whistle for Villa’s goal hero Cian Browne and Dylan Walsh.
A lovely post match celebration photo but also a poignant moment as the Villa team hold up the black armbands that they wore in memory of their late team mate, Roy Butler R.B.4.
Villa: Craig Dunphy, James Kennedy, Conor Signorelli (Eoghan Rea ’74), Dylan Walsh, Adam Heaslip, Luke Walsh (Adam Conway ’46), Conor Kilgannon, Aaron O’Connor (Ravelli Kilonda ’74), Dean Walsh (Ivan Homoki ’74), Cian Browne, John Frederick Tamen (Mark Walsh ’81).
Salthill Devon: Arek Hamala, Cormac Raffery, Calym Crowe, Jackson Da Silva, Shane O’Rourke, Aaron Conway, Michael Gallagher, Lucas Da Paula (Tommy McKeown ‘5), Vinny Flaherty (Darren Craven ’81), Timmy Molloy (Matthew Murray ’74), Alberto Gabanyes (Michael Lee ’33).
Referee: Derek O’Shea . Assistants Anthony Morrison and Thomas Sheedy (Kerry).