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Maher striker settles it for Cretty as Usher LJC run is brought to an end

Crettyard United……….. 1 Usher Celtic…………… 0

Leinster Junior Cup Quarter-Final

LUKE Maher’s 75th minute strike was enough for Crettyard to advance to the semi-finals of the Leinster Junior Cup. For much of the game, Crettyard were forced into defending as Usher dominated and had much of the ball. However, they held their own and took their chances when they got them.

Usher threatened as early as the fourth minute when Darren McDonnell at the back post headed Calvin Douglas’ free from the halfway line wide.

The visitors kept pressing and 27 minutes in, Glenn Reddy drove his free from the right over the bar whilst a minute later, Jeff Moran pulled out a save to deny Stephen Doyle coming from the right. As the half hour mark approached, Crettyard had their first opportunity of the game through a Cristoir Maher free on the right.

However, he could only drive it into the Usher ‘keeper. Usher went close again four minutes before the break as Barry Fox’s cross was headed wide at the back post. Crettyard could have taken the lead a minute later when the ball fell to Colin Osborne on the edge of the box but he could only steer his shot over the bar. On the stroke of half-time, Moran palmed away Douglas’ free from the left.

The visitors kept up the intensity after the break and Irish international, Jordan Buckley headed wide from Wayne Walker’s cross from the right eleven minutes in. As the game went on, Crettyard came back into the game more and went close with twenty minutes to go.

Another Cristoir Maher free from the left found substitute Jason Enright at the back post but his header only rattled the crossbar. Osborne headed wide from a similar position two minutes later. Seconds after, Craig Comerford went close with an effort after he did well to get into the middle and get into a shooting position but drilled his shot over the bar.

However, they weren’t to be denied as Comerford set Luke Maher free down the right who made no mistake in chipping the ‘keeper and steering his shot into the far corner. Usher pushed for an equaliser and should have had it when Walker drilled in a cross from the right and found Buckley at the back post but headed narrowly wide. Seven minutes fro time, Shane Buggy headed over the bar from a Maher free on the left. Usher went close three minutes later, Jamie Hamilton’s free on the edge of the box on the right being deflected wide. Moran was also forced into a late save.

Teams:

Crettyard United: Jeff Moran, James Rothwell, Craig Comerford, James Sherwood, Ger Murray, Cris Maher, Seamus Dowling, Bobby Dowling, Aaron Morris, Colin Osborne, Evan Phillips. Subs: Anthony FitzPatrick, John Graham, Luke Maher, Andy Brennan, Shane Buggy, Conor Mulhall, Jason Enright.

Usher Celtic: Karl Lynam, Stephen Doyle, Darren McDonnell, Robert Martin, Leroy Staunton, Calvin Douglas, Barry Browne, Barry Fox, Jordan Buckley, Glenn Reddy, Wayne Walker. Subs: Paul Keane, Jamie Hamilton, Graham Curran, Dylan McTiernan, Seán Martin, Graham Murphy.

BY HARRY SHORTHOSE

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