Rath­new reach fi­nal

Bray People - - Sport - Daniel GOR­MAN

Rath­new AFC 2, Glen­cor­mac United 0: Rath­new be­came the first side to book their place in the fi­nal of the Clarke Fuel & Oil Cup last Tues­day evening ( Fe­bru­ary 17) with a facile win over a hard­work­ing Glen­cor­mac United side.

They found it hard to break the vis­i­tors down but even­tu­ally did and de­servedly so, to ad­vance to the semi-fi­nals.

It was as early as the eighth sec­ond when Glens’ goal­keeper Shane Vick­ers was called into action.

Six min­utes later Wick­low star Colin Jame­son slid his free-kick to Kenneth Doyle who crossed it to Jody Mer­ri­gan but the tall young­ster’s ef­fort was blocked off the line.

Four min­utes later Jame­son lofted a long ball for­ward to An­thony Doyle, and the stocky striker chested the ball down be­fore swiv­el­ling and shoot­ing wide.

Rath­new were then given a golden op­por­tu­nity on 13 min­utes when Paul Mer­ri­gan’s bril­liant surg­ing run was brought to a halt by a vis­it­ing de­fender, but Jame­son’s spot kick was well saved by Vick­ers. Ap­par­ently the num­ber 13 is un­lucky for Jame­son, but not for Vick­ers.

Twenty min­utes later Gary Mes­sit’s free-kick was spilled by Rath­new goalie Stephen Doyle, but he gath­ered the ball quickly with Pádraig Devlin lin­ger­ing.

Three min­utes be­fore the break the vis­i­tors had what was prob­a­bly their best chance of the match. Tom Byrne dinked the ball for- ward, Pádraig Devlin flicked into Dean Byrne’s path, but the young­ster’s blast was well saved by Doyle when he was clean through.

Rath­new were not happy with the way things were go­ing at the break and they needed to change things, so they brought on Stephen Cana­van at half-time and then Nicky Mer­nagh six min­utes later.

Mer­nagh al­most made an in­stant im­pact, but his shot was palmed away by Vick­ers.

In the 62nd minute Tom Byrne was forced to clear the ball of the line to deny the hosts.

A minute later Karl Doyle missed a good chance when scuffed his shot from in­side the penalty area af­ter be­ing teed-up by Cana­van.

Rath­new were by this stage well on top and it looked like they would find the break­through sooner rather than later.

On 69 min­utes Barry Mer­nagh played a quick one-two from a cor­ner and cut in­side be­fore re­leas­ing a piledriver that Vick­ers man­aged to tip over his cross­bar. How­ever, it was from the re­sul­tant cor­ner that the home side took the lead.

Kenneth Doyle swung in a cor­ner from the right and af­ter Vick­ers could only flap at it, it fell to An­thony Doyle at the back post and he blasted the ball home for a de­served lead.

Thir­teen min­utes from time Rath­new should have put the game be­yond doubt af­ter Kenneth Doyle’s cross was met by An­thony’s div­ing header, but the striker failed to hit the tar­get when he re­ally should have scored.

On 82 min­utes Wick­low U-18 star Ian Mor­ris saw his low 25yard free-kick gath­ered by the Rath­new goalie and a Glen’s goal was looking un­likely.

Any hopes of a semi-fi­nal place for the away side were killed off two min­utes be­fore the end though when An­thony Doyle re­leased Nicky Mer­nagh, who com­mit­ted the ‘keeper be­fore tak­ing the ball wide and when he crossed to An­thony Doyle he put the ball in the far cor­ner be­fore Vick­ers had a chance to get back in po­si­tion.

There were un­for­tu­nately some ugly scenes near the end with ten­sion run­ning high but noth­ing too shock­ing. One thing that was proved last Tues­day night though was that Rath­new cer­tainly have the hunger and the bite for this cup com­pe­ti­tion.

Man of the Match: Shane Vick­ers (Glen­cor­mac United): The goal­keeper was on top form, pulling off some great saves, as well as a penalty stop.

Rath­new, who reached the fi­nal of the Clarke Fuel & Oil Cup.

Beaten semi-fi­nal­ists, Glen­cor­mac United.

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