We progressed to the 2nd round of the Mulhern Cup following a fairly straightforward 3-0 victory away to Dunbreen Rovers. The opening exchanges were very scrappy, with both teams squandering possession easily and seemingly unable to adapt to the conditions.
However, we did take the lead after about 20 minutes. Lewis Vance and Aaron Lindsay combined down the right wing, before Lindsay slipped the ball inside to Ryan O’Keefe who in turn released Paul McGrath through on goal. McGrath showed great composure to round the keeper and slot home from an acute angle. We had chances to extend our lead, firstly Paul Elliott hit the bar and moments later Jamie Coalter headed over when well placed. Elliott then played Aaron Lindsay down the right wing and his superb cross was only palmed away by the keeper, Elliott then raced in but with the goal at his mercy he blazed over. At the other end, Dunbreen were awarded a penalty when Sam McDonald was adjudged to have fouled their striker. However, he made amends when he saved the penalty and we were able to clear the danger.
In the second half we performed slightly better, and the introduction of Ryan and Keelan Flanagan gave us extra energy going forward. Paul Elliott finally had the ball in the back of the net, a lovely curling finish in to the bottom corner from the edge of the box, but William Armstrong was deemed to have obstructed the keepers view and the goal was ruled out for offside. Shortly after his introduction, Keelan collected a poor goal kick and ran 30 yards but his left foot shot was parried round the post by the Dunbreen keeper.
Sam Lindsay then found himself one on one, but again the keeper cane out on top gathering his shot at the second attempt. Sam got in again moments later but he unselfishly played the ball across to O’Keefe who just couldn’t stretch far enough to guide the ball home. However, Sam found himself in a similar position soon afterwards, and this time he laid it on a plate for Keelan to smash home.
McGrath nearly got his second when he controlled a Sean Keenan ball and lobbed the keeper, but somehow the defender hooked it off the line with the aid of the post. O’Keefe got on the scoresheet late on when he cut in from the right on to his left foot and drilled low past the Dunbreen keeper.
Not a performance that will live long in the memory, but safely through nonetheless. Well done to Sam McDonald who picked up the supporters Man of the Match award. Up next will be a much more stern test when we face Magheraveely at home in the next round.