By JOHN HUDSON
RINGMAHON RANGERS 2 KILLESTER DONNYCARNEY FC 3
A first ever appearance in the FAI Intermediate Cup final next month awaits Killester Donnycarney FC after they overcame Munster Senior League side Ringmahon Rangers in an exciting semi final tie in Cork.
The decider itself will now be an all Leinster Senior League affair following St Mochtas narrow 1-0 victory at Malahide in the other semi final on Friday night.
Three well taken first half goals from Josh Scully, Steven Nolan and Cian McMullen had put Gary Howlett’s charges in a comfortable position coming up to the break despite Jack Cairns managing to pull a goal back for the home side on the stroke of half time.
Ringmahon had more of the play on the resumption and Killester Donnycarney were forced to defend for the bulk of the half but outstanding displays from goalkeeper Evan Whelan and a solid back four well marshalled by Terry McAuley while Mark Ryan added plenty of steel to their midfield to see them get through.
Killester Donnycarney did manage a couple of swift counter attacks and substitute John Brophy and Scully might have sealed the win with a fourth goal but both of their finishes went past the post.
A whirlwind opening period saw Howlett’s side go in front with two goals in three minute spell after 16 minutes.
Scully beat Eric Grimes with a first time effort from the edge of the box on 13 minutes after Nolan’s pass found McMullen unmarked on the right and his accurate low cross picked out Scully to apply the finish.
Minutes later Nolan himself powered home a cracking volley following a half cleared corner and Killester Donnycarney found themselves two ahead and completely controlling the game.
The third goal arrived eight minutes from the break following a great over lap run by full back Reece McEnteer and his precise delivery allowed the lively McMullen to turn the ball past Grimes at the near post.
Cairns goal a fine 30 yard rocket of a shot that came off the underside of the crossbar on half time gave the home side some hope.
Danny Long went close to a second early in the second half as Ringmahon mounted a huge effort to get back on terms. Roy Long headed over from a corner and Whelan was forced to make a brilliant save to keep out an effort from Dean Swords.
A succession of high balls in the visitors goal area looked threatening but Whelan managed to gather most of the them while Lee and McAuley came to his aid to get some great headed clearances in too.
In between Killester Donnycarney might have stretched their own advantage Brophy got clear on the left and in a one on one with Grimes the ‘keeper touched the ball out for a corner.
Scully then in a similar position might have done better but he pulled his finish outside the post.
A rip roaring seven minute period of time added saw a desperate Ringmahon grab a second from Danny Long but they failed to find an equaliser and Howlett’s side survived and now take their place in the final.
RINGMAHON RANGERS: Eric Grimes; Philip Keane, Anthony O’Donnell, Cian Kingston, Jason Forde; Darren Murphy, Anthony McAlavey; Jack Cairns, Danny Long, Patrick O’Brien; Dean Swords.Subs: Roy Long (for Forde 31), Roy Kenny (for Murphy 62), Jason Dunphy (for Cairns 71).
KILLESTER DONNYCARNEY FC: Evan Whelan; Sean Rogers, Terry McAuley, Brendan Lee, Reece McEnteer; Steven Nolan Mark Ryan, Stephen Chambers; Cian McMullen, Eoin Fowler, Josh Scully. Subs: John Brophy (for McMullen 82), Gary Kenny (for McAuley 90+2).
Referee: Eddie McNally ReplyForward