HOME FARM………2 TEMPLEOGUE UNITED……1
HOME FARM 16 Premiers advanced to the open stages of the SFAI All-Ireland Cup competition with a hard earned win over visitors Templeogue United at Whitehall on Sunday morning.
In a frenetic opening period both sides carved out chances and Templeogue were quick into the challenge and unsettled Home Farm who were trying to get their passing game going.
Templeogue grabbed a 14th minute lead when Jock O’Neill’s close in shot took a deflection to deceive Jamie Whelan in the Home Farm goal as the ball crept in on his righthand post.
The hosts had been warned a couple of minutes earlier when the same player was given a clear run on goal following a diagonal cross-field pass but he chose to check inside on his left foot and the opportunity was lost.
But he reaped his reward within couple of minutes to stun the home side and rock them on their heels.
Home Farm were struggling to get their passing game going but gradually they worked their way into the game and it was Templeogue goalkeeper Jack Malone who was the busier of the two netminders.
He came to his side’s rescue on a couple of occasions as Home Farm won a succession of corners but spurred opportunities off decent deliveries with Malone showing bravery and athleticism in gathering possession.
Finn Doogan picked up a yellow card for a heavy challenge just outside their penalty area but again the opportunity was lost for the Farm and they went in at the break trailing one-nil.
The second half commenced in whirlwind fashion for the home side as they netted off a corner with Darragh Sheehan forcing the ball over the line from close in. Templeogue retreated deeper in defence and while Home Farm saw lots of possession, they struggled to break down a resolute visiting back line.
Templeogue were looking for quick counter attacks and trying to get one-on-ones on the back of long clearances out of defence.
Farm forced several corners that came to nothing as Templeogue got numbers behind the ball and the tactic looked to yield a return as the clock wound down toward 80 minutes.
But in a dramatic twist to the entertaining cup tie Home Farm won it with a couple of minutes to go. Sean Fleming was the hero for the home side as he got the ball under control and despite some appeals from the opposition line for offside, he clipped the ball past the advancing Malone to nestle the ball in the back of the Templeogue net.
Cue massive celebrations out on the sideline as Home Farm produced a late ‘Get out of Jail’ card. The result was deserved given the amount of possession Home Farm enjoyed over the course of the match but they will know that similar performances will not suffice if they are to progress into the latter stages of this All-Ireland series.
Manager Liam Donnelly admitted as much and the switch to Whitehall from Mobhi Road might have been an unsettling factor while a resolute opposition competed manfully throughout.
Regardless, there is lots of room for improvement but Home Farm 16s are an excellent side and although short of their best today, they still did enough to earn that precious ticket into the open stages and is that respect it was fully deserved.
HOME FARM: Jamie Whelan; Harry Digan, Manny Bonue, Sean O’Brien, Darragh Sheehan, Sean Fleming, Joel Chad, Conor Cassidy, Cameron Brannigan, Manny Magno, Callum Donnelly. Subs: Sam Conroy, Reece Rodruigues, David Arklow, Aaron Downey, Mark Nutley, Sean Radulescu.
TEMPLEOGUE UNITED: Jack Malone; Oisin Farrell, Alekasandro Ciocroan, Liam Doyle, Jack O’Neill, Finn Smith, Finn Doogan, Tom McCabe, Ryan Jones, Alex Goodlieu, Ross O’Dwyer. Subs: Callum Nolan, Liam Kellers, Seannan Duffy, Adam Ward.