Muirhevnamor dump holders out of cup on penalties

Muirhevnamor dump holders out of cup on penalties
Muirhevnamor advanced to the next round of the Tully Bookmakers Cup following a penalty shoot out victory over reigning cup holders and fellow Premier Division side Duleek on Friday night.

Muirhevnamor advanced to the next round of the Tully Bookmakers Cup following a penalty shoot out victory over reigning cup holders and fellow Premier Division side Duleek on Friday night.

Played before a large crowd in Muirhevnamor it was the visitors who opened brightly and in the second minute Michael Cooney was called into action to make a fine save from the Duleek left winger.

Muirhevnamor, urged on by the large vocal support, upped their game and on five minutes full-back Stefan McKevitt swung in a delivery that Shane O’Brien headed narrowly wide.

The home side were calling the shots now and Ryan Dillon missed a glorious chance from six-yards from a Jimmy Cooney cross and two minutes later Cooney tried his luck from distance. The ball deflected off Brendan Hughes and appeared to deceive the Duleek goalkeeper but somehow he managed to readjust his feet and claw the ball to safety.

And the Duleek net-minder showed his agility again just minutes later, this time denying Philip Duffy with another stunning save.

Midway through the half, and against the run of play, Duleek struck from a Tony Grant back post finish after the home defence failed to pick him up.

With the first-half drawing to a close Sean Dixon’s side deservedly drew level when a stunning 30-yard volley from Sean Conlon flew into the top left hand corner.

The second-half saw the game ebb and flow with both sides having chances and on 70 minutes it was the visitors who scored to go 2-1 up after a long ball over the top wasn’t cut out and Cooney was left helpless as the opportunity was calmly tucked away.

Muirhevnamor’s pressure eventually told and on 85 minutes some excellent interplay between McKevitt and Duffy saw the latter cross to the back post and Anto Reilly’s powerful header ensured the game went to extra time.

The extra half an hour saw both sides fail to break the deadlock, meaning the tie would be settled by a penalty shoot-out.

Jimmy Cooney saw his effort saved for the Mor but Stefan McKevitt, Philip Duffy, goalkeeper Cooney and Adrian Rafferty all converted with Cooney making two excellent stops to secure his side a place in the next round at the expense of last year’s winners.

Muirhevnamor: Michael Cooney, Stefan McKevitt, Brian Begley, Adrian Rafferty, Shane O’Callaghan, Shane O’Brien, Sean Conlon (Simon O’Shaughnessy), Philip Duffy, Brendan Hughes (Anto Reilly), Ryan Dillon, Jimmy Cooney.