Manor Rangers advanced to the next round of the Connacht FAI Junior Cup when chalking up an impressive away win as the north Leitrim men brushed aside the challenge of St. Patrick’s FC from Caherlistrane, Co. Galway on Sunday afternoon last.
Manor Rangers 2
St. Patrick’s 0
The keys to this notable Connacht Cup victory for Manor were the two first half goals slotted home by the evergreen Paul Boylan and the heroic defending by the North Leitrim side in the second half when St. Patrick’s threw everything at them in a bid to avoid defeat and turn the tide in the encounter.
On a bumpy pitch Manor started brightly and Pat Sweeney put an inch perfect cross from which Boylan went close to opening the scoring.
Ten minutes later Boylan made no mistake when turning Gary Hickey’s well struck hit free into the St. Patrick’s net.
At the other end of the pitch Ronan Connelly was causing problems up front for Manor as was evidenced when he saw a good effort curl narrowly wide midway through the half.
However, Manor then doubled their advantage after good work by Aaron and Alan Hickey that set up Paul Boylan to hammer home a fine goal. After that it took a good save from Manor goalkeeper Colin Gilligan to maintain his side’s grip on the proceedings when he got down and turned a Rory Glenn drive around the post.
St. Pat’s pushed more men forward in the second half and applied a lot of pressure on the Manor rearguard. Manor central defenders Joe Keaney and Thomas McDonald held firm and along with their back four colleagues did trojan work when repelling wave after wave of vigorous attacks from the St. Pat’s men.
The siege of the Manor citadel was lifted when Ciaran Rock hit a screamer of a shot that came back off the St. Pat’s crossbar. Gilligan then made a good save from a fine Ronan Connelly header and Joe Keaney cleared the rebound to safety.
Manor had another anxious moment before the end when a shot by sub Eanna O’Connor whizzed past the post. When the final whistle sounded Manor earned their just rewards when they claimed a deserved victory and particularly so because of the valiant efforts the North Leitrim men to maintain a clean sheet in the last 45 minutes of the action.
Manor Rangers: Colin Gilligan; Anthony McDonald, Thomas McDonald, Joe Keaney, Alan Hickey; Aaron Hickey, Cian Rock, Gary Hickey, Paul Boylan; Pat Sweeney, Paul Lonican. Subs Daniel Skimmon, Richard Hewitt, Joe Quigley.
St. Patrick’s FC: Dave Coyle; David Hughes, Ja McDonagh, Enda Heneghan, David Lee; Rory Glynn, Ronan Connelly, Eanna Glynn, Tom Murray; Kevin Heneghan, Padraic McDonagh. Subs Martin Burke, Bernard O’Brien, Eanna O’Connor.