Rathnew victory marred by off the ball incident
Village beat Glencormac and progress to final
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.
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.