FAI Junior Cup 3rd Round
CULLEN-LATTIN FC 0
ST. MICHAELS FC 1
Premier League high flyers and last season’s finalists St. Michael’s had to play their get out of jail card to progress to the 4th Round of the FAI Junior Cup in this hot-blooded cup tie against Second Division minnows Cullen-Lattin at Aisling Park, Cullen last Sunday.
In a true David and Goliath contest that brought the crowd to the West Tipp, St.Michael’s were on top early on. But it was not all one-way traffic, with Saints Richie Ryan putting in a strong tackle on former Saints midfielder Davy Ryan after 22 minutes as Ryan was teeing up a shot.
With the second half barely underway St. Michael’s struck the winner when Jimmy Carr’s pass found Thomas Fahey, who crossed for Tony Egan to head home from 10 yards. Everyone was expecting the floodgates to open but that wasn’t the case. At that stage Cullen-Lattin were getting the upper hand, with Saints being pushed more and more on the back foot. After 65 minutes a direct free kick saw an Alan Hayes piledriver force Saints goalie Derek Breen to save well at the expense of a corner. Barry O’Dwyer spurned a good chance to level when he shot into the side-netting from a David Heffernan cross after 70 minutes. Cullen had claims for a penalty in the 74th minute when Barry O’Dwyer was upended after good work by John Russell, Davy Ryan and David Heffernan.
As the game reached the dying minutes Cullen’s Ger Ryan had to be vigilant to tip over a Chris Higgins cross while at the other end Cullen-Lattin’s hopes of forcing extra-time and a possible major cup upset vanished when James Power headed straight at Derek Breen following a free kick, to the relief of the St. Michael’s players and followers alike.