Rath­new vic­tory marred by off the ball in­ci­dent

Vil­lage beat Glen­cor­mac and progress to fi­nal

Bray People - - SPORT - DANIEL GOR­MAN At Ry­der’s Field

GLEN­COR­MAC UNITED RATH­NEW AFC B

J Mer­ri­gan 21; Josh Gra­ham 63; Quinn 86 0 3 RATH­NEW’S power over­awed Glen­cor­mac United on a day that saw a young man suf­fer a bro­ken jaw in an off the ball in­ci­dent.

Jody Mer­ri­gan, Josh Gra­ham and Keith Quinn were all on tar­get for the Vil­lagers as they ad­vanced to the Di­vi­sion 2 Cup fi­nal but it was a hor­ri­ble morn­ing for Glens star Cian McGoldrick who’s jaw was bro­ken in two places af­ter be­ing struck in the face in the 33rd minute by a Rath­new player.

The vis­i­tors had gears to grind with the Kil­macanogue side; they were frus­trated that United had given a walkover to their league ti­tle ri­vals St. Patrick’s in mid­week.

And they im­me­di­ately set out to ex­act re­venge as Josh Gra­ham’s sec­ond minute cross was headed on by Paul Mer­ri­gan but it sailed straight into the gloves of Glens goal­keeper Stephen Pep­per.

Richard Ka­vanagh then put in a cross that Gra­ham Mer­ri­gan was stretch­ing ev­ery­thing to reach and in the end, he couldn’t get enough be­hind his ef­fort to turn it goal­wards.

The home side then pro­duced their first at­tack. Mick Rooney lofted the ball for­ward and McGoldrick swept a first­time pass out right into the over­lap­ping Barry Fitz­patrick’s path. The right-back’s shot was poor though and didn’t cause Ed­ward Doyle to break a sweat.

United were well aware of the threat posed by Jody Mer­ri­gan so they in­structed Gavan Burke to man mark the striker, mak­ing it a five-man de­fence at times but the at­tacker still man­aged to have it his own way at Ry­der’s Field.

On 20 min­utes, he latched onto Dy­lan Franey’s through­ball and toe-poked it to­wards goal. Pep­per couldn’t gather but cen­tre half Colm Nolan was on hand to clean up on the goal-line.

Nolan couldn’t save the day a minute later though. Dean Franey spun away from his marker’s at­ten­tion and drilled in a low cross that Jody Mer­ri­gan met as he danced across his man to stab home the opener.

Mer­ri­gan al­most grabbed a sec­ond when Rath­new goal­keeper Ed­ward Doyle sent a boom­ing clear­ance down the throat of Pep­per and Mer­ri­gan’s back-header saw the ball drop just over the cross­bar.

Glen­cor­mac thought they had a way back into the tie on 26 min­utes when quick feet from Ian Devlin re­sulted in a scyth­ing chal­lenge from Dy­lan Franey. United wanted a penalty but in­stead were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area by ref­eree Mick Kennedy.

Rath­new re-took con­trol of the match on the half hour mark as Johnny Byrne cush­ioned an aerial pass to Josh Gra­ham and the mid­field tank’s thun­der­ous vol­ley whis­tled over.

McGoldrick’s game took a dras­tic turn for the worse on 33 min­utes. He was struck in the face by a Rath­new player and fell to the floor. The Glen­cor­mac side­line were in­censed and some push­ing and shov­ing be­tween them and Rath­new play­ers en­sued. Dy­lan Franey re­ceived a yel­low card for his role in the schmoz­zle, while the per­pe­tra­tor also re­ceived just a yel­low card.

McGoldrick tried to play on but gave up in the 39th minute and was brought to St. Vin­cent’s Hospi­tal where it was re­vealed he’d bro­ken his jaw in two places and he had his jaw wired shut on Mon­day morn­ing at St. James’ Hospi­tal.

McGoldrick’s re­place­ment, Si­mon Doyle, played a part in United’s next at­tack; 20 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod. He touched the ball onto Kevin Red­den who’d found space in­side the Rath­new penalty area but he dragged his shot wide.

Paul Mer­ri­gan teed up his cousin Gra­ham next but the winger crashed his dif­fi­cult vol­ley over Pep­per’s cross­bar.

Gavan Burke was then taken off his man-mark­ing du­ties and al­most had an im­me­di­ate ef­fect at the other end. His cross from the right picked out Ian Devlin but the for­ward’s header fin­ished wide of Doyle’s goal.

Glen­cor­mac were then caught short at the back and were so nearly pun­ished. Gra­ham Mer­ri­gan’s pass trick­led through for Jody Mer­ri­gan and his fierce drive was blocked away by the body of Pep­per.

It was mid­way through the sec­ond half when Rath­new earned some breath­ing space. Jody Mer­ri­gan helped the ball onto Josh Gra­ham and he lined up and un­leashed an un­stop­pable vol­ley that swerved into the cor­ner of the net like a rocket.

Jody Mer­ri­gan was cru­elly de­nied a sec­ond when he struck the cross­bar af­ter be­ing set up by Gra­ham.

And with four minute to go, Rath­new put the is­sue to bed. Keith Quinn got the bet­ter of Barry Fitz­patrick on the edge of the box and drove a low ef­fort be­yond Pep­per’s dive to seal a com­fort­able win for the Vil­lagers.

Top Form: Jody Mer­ri­gan (Rath­new AFC): Even with a man tail­ing him, he was still too much for Glen­cor­mac.

GLEN­COR­MAC UNITED

1. Stephen Pep­per, 2. Barry Fitz­patrick, 3. Mick Rooney, 4. Colm Nolan, 5. Paul Devlin, 6. Andy Free, 7. Ian Devlin, 8. Gavan Burke, 9. Cian McGoldrick, 10. Kevin Red­den, 11. Gary Mes­sett. SUBS: Si­mon Doyle for McGoldrick (39); Shane Vick­ers for Red­den (69); Conor Finn for Mes­sett (81). Not used: Eoin Far­rell, Chris Loy, Shane Far­rell, Ray Nally.

RATH­NEW AFC B

1. Ed­ward Doyle, 2. Dy­lan Franey, 3. Richard Ka­vanagh, 4. Alan Hub­bard, 5. Mick Nolan, 6. Josh Gra­ham, 7. Gra­ham Mer­ri­gan, 8. Dean Franey, 9. Johnny Byrne, 10. Paul Mer­ri­gan, 11. Jody Mer­ri­gan. SUBS: Jonah Gra­ham for G. Mer­ri­gan (66); Keith Doyle for Byrne (66). Not used: Philip Mur­phy. VENUE: Ry­der’s Field

REF­EREE: Mick Kennedy

Rath­new’s Jody Mer­ri­gan cel­e­brates his early goal in the Di­vi­sion 2 Cup semi-fi­nal.

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