Extra Time Joy for Ten Man Mervue Juniors in Cup Final 2010-05-19

Corrib Rangers 2 Mervue Utd 3 (Michael Byrne Cup Final)

Ten man Mervue Utd captured the Michael Byrne Cup as they overcame Corrib Rangers after extra time in Tuesday nights final played at a wet Terryland Park. The game had finished 1-1 after normal time as Laurence Forde and Liam McKenna had swapped goals either side of the break. 

Mervue then found themselves a man down as defender Miko Nolan saw red after two quick yellows cards on the hour mark. But to their credit Padraig Kilgannon’s side didn’t let that unsettle them as two great strikes in extra time were enough to claim another Michael Byrne Cup win for the club.  

The game started with both teams cancelling each other out as little or no chances were created in the opening half hour. A through ball from Barry Moran on 15 minutes found Forde just inside the box but just as he was about to shoot Rynal Browne got back to foil him with an excellent block. 

Another through ball from Derek McWalter at the other end released Stephen Larkin in behind the Rangers defence but he failed to control the ball as John Egan raced from his line to collect the loose ball on 26 minutes. Two minutes later and Liam McKenna saw his header from a Tommy Walsh corner cleared of the line by John OConnor on the post. 

Simon Walsh then headed a deep Rangers corner onto the Mervue crossbar at the other end as the game started to open up on the half hour mark. A minute later Walsh’s through ball played Larkin in again but once again Egan advanced smartly to block his effort. Egan then palmed away a drive from 30 yards by Shane Kelly, which was on target. 

At the other end Rynal Browne cleared a Mark Joyce flick on from a Rangers corner off the line as having a man on each post for corner kicks once again proved vital. A very good passing move from Rangers saw Barry Moran and Simon Walsh combine well but Walsh shot straight at Ryan Griffin on 41 minutes. 

The deadlock was broken two minutes later as a Rangers ball into the box was not dealt with by the Mervue defence and Forde reacted quickest to the loose ball, firing past Griffin with a low effort into the bottom corner from just inside the box. Mervue responded with Robert Connolly heading over Steve Larkin’s cross from the right just on half time. 

Mervue were level six minutes after the break following a period of sustained pressure on the Rangers goal. Shane Kelly swung in a corner from the right and Liam McKenna eventually headed in past a wall of bodies at the back post. Mervues task was then made that bit harder in the 62nd minute as Miko Nolan headed for an early shower following two quick yellows from Patsy Forde. 

Colie Kelly then had an effort well saved by Egan and Shane Kelly saw his dipping free-kick from the right just fly over Egan’s crossbar. Mervue manager Padraig Kilgannon then signalled his intentions on 77 minutes as he went looking to win the game as he introduced attackers Summitt Chawla and Eamon Feeney for Kelly and Finnerty. 

Rangers Mark Joyce had another header from a corner on the left, headed off the goal line by McWalter who was guarding the post. Mervue subs Chawla and Feeney combined well down the right to create an opening for Robert Connolly but his effort was blocked on the line and cleared with six minutes remaining. 

A minute later and the best chance of the half felled to Martin Connell who headed Moran’s right wing cross wide of the post when in front of goals as the game finished all square just as the two sides league outing had a couple of weeks back. 

There were no goals in the first period of extra time, despite a brilliant one handed save down low by Ryan Griffin from an Ollie Rafferty strike on 93 minutes. But the game did finish with a flurry of goals in the second period.

Mervue went in front for the first time following a brilliant move on 103 minutes, which was started by Tommy Walsh and finished by him. Walsh released Feeney away down the right wing and he in turn crossed to sub Emyln Coyne who laid the ball off for Walsh to hit an excellent finish into the top corner past Egan. 

Rangers responded within 3 minutes as Forde once again reacted quickest in the box as he finished a Shane Flaherty cross to net to tie matters at 2-2. With two minutes remaining of extra time and penalties looking likely, Mervue struck for the winner.

Liam McKenna won the ball on the halfway line with a great tackle before embarking on a surge down the left wing pulling two Rangers defenders with him before crossing for Coyne to hit a left foot drive past Egan into the bottom corner. .   

An excellent finish to the season for the club’s junior team who proved the form team in the latter half of the campaign as they remained unbeaten in their final eight games and claimed another piece of silverware for the club. For Corrib Rangers it has been a very disappointing end to a season, one that had promised so much, having lost out for the league title on Sunday to Athenry in the final game of the season.  

Mervue Utd – Ryan Griffin, Rynal Browne, Shane Kelly, Miko Nolan, Aaron Finnerty, Tommy Walsh, Derek McWalter, Robert Connolly, Colie Kelly, Stephen Larkin. Subs; Summitt Chawla for Colie Kelly (77 mins), Eamon Feeney for Finnerty (77 mins), Emyln Coyne for Larkin (97 mins). 

Corrib Rangers– John Egan, Shane Flaherty, John OConnor, Martin O’Connor, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Mark Joyce, Barry Moran, Simon Walsh, Laurence Forde, Dave Smith and Martin O’Connell Subs; Ollie Rafferty for Smith (59 mins), Gary Murray for M O’Connor (59 mins), Ger Bane for J OConnor (injured 95 mins) 

Referee – Patsy Forde 

mervueunited.com Man of the Match - Liam McKenna