This was the third encounter between the 2 teams this year with a win each for both teams. Killarney athletic were out for revenge after a crushing defeat just prior to Xmas break. The Park on the other hand were looking to improve their record at this ground after 2 losses here last season.
With that in the melting pot this tie was set to be a “cracker” and by god that’s what the game duly delivered.
The park lads started well dominating possession from the kick off, passing and moving the ball confidently from defense thro the centre and up the wings into attack creating a few half chances for Conor and Dylan up front. On the 15 min mark the lads were rewarded from a fine move started on the right wing by Gearoid delivering a pinpoint pass to Dylan who laid the ball off to Conor who blasted the ball to the top left corner past the Athletic keeper.
This seemed to inspire their opponents and the Killarney boys slowly started to come back into the game and 25mins in they were level 1-1 with a sloppy goal from a defensive error, the park lads were on the back foot and started to lose their grip on the game throughout the pitch and were lucky not to go in three or four down at the break.
The team talk at the break was inspiring from both the Management team and the players themselves and what transpired was truly awesome
Fired up the Park lads pushed forward with purpose from the minute the whistle blew and 2 mins in, Conor struck again with a replica of the goal in the first half. 2-1 up and the lads were on fire, Sean, Alan, Cian and Fitzy were winning the physical battles in defense and Shane, Kiwi, Minors and Gearoid retook control of the midfield. Conor was proving a handful up front for the Killarney defense and was linking up well with Dylan, who struck the net on the 10min mark only to be disallowed for offside. Deano was introduced into the game and another great move from Conor powering past the Killarney defense, chipping the keeper only to be cleared off the line as Deano was set to tuck the ball home. Killarney struck back 5 mins later from a free kick which was poorly dealt with by the Park defensive line 2-2 and it was all to play for with 20mins to go. Fair play to the Park lads, they dug deep again and re settled in defense and within minutes conor struck again for a fine hat-trick powering through, rounding the keeper and stroking the ball to an empty net, 3-2 and we were back on top.
On the 26 min mark the park were awarded a free kick just outside the box, a left foot delivery from Minors was parried out by the keeper to the waiting Kiwi in the centre who smashed the ball into the roof of the net, 4-2 with 8 mins left and it looked like the game was up for Killarney but true to their never say die attitude they kept plugging away and pulled a goal back with 5 mins left on the clock, to make it 4-3 and a grandstand finish.
Was a comeback on the cards!, not if deano had anything to do with it and after taking a pass from Eoin L on the left he took the ball to the edge of the small parallelogram and cheekily chipped the tallest goalkeeper in the league, to nestle the ball in the right hand bottom corner, definetely a contender for goal of the season.
5-3 up and the game was nearly out of sight, but the Park lads weren’t finished yet, a fine strike from conor from outside the box struck the bar and came out to the oncoming Ed M who duly smashed the ball past the Killarney keeper to end the match 6-3 in favour of the Park.
This was a terrific squad performance and credit for the win was down to all 16 players who had their part to play in sensational cup match.
Squad on the day: Eoghan Murphy, Cian Holden, Sean Collins, Alan McElligot, Shane Walsh, Eoin Lynch, David Fitzmaurice, Gearoid Dillane, Tomas Sheehy, Ciaran Killeen, Dylan O’Sullivan, Harry O Callaghan, Conor Lowe, Owen Moynihan, Dean O Connell, Ed Moynihan
Players of Note: Dean O Connell, Shane Wash, Owen “Minors” Moynihan and Sean Collins
Player of the Match: Conor Lowe was devastating with great power upfront, 2 assists and a well taken hat-trick, 3 of the finest finishes.
Training continues at usual times Mondays 7.30 – 8.30pm and Fridays 6.30 – 7.30pm.