Munster Junior Cup 3rd Round
CAHIR PARK 0 CULLEN-LATTIN 1
Super sub Davy Heffernan was the hero for Second Division Cullen-Lattin as the West Tipp side produced the shock of the round in the Munster Junior Cup, reaching the last 32 for an historic first time after they defeated Premier League outfit Cahir Park in their own backyard last Sunday.
With Premier League sides, holders St. Michael’s and Clonmel Celtic already through to the open draw it was expected that Cahir Park would join them as a waterlogged pitch saw the game moved to Cahir, giving the home side a clear advantage. But Cullen-Lattin, with nothing to lose in this David and Goliath contest, ripped up the form book.
After 20 minutes the visitors went close when John Russell was through one-on-one with the ‘keeper, only for a last gasp challenge from Keelan Hickey to stop him in his tracks. Cullen-Lattin, even without the services of Davy Ryan and losing Alan Hayes with an injury early on, were still mobile in all areas of the pitch and fought gamely for every ball. Cahir’s Ed Burke, Paul Frazer and Dean Lonergan were finding it hard to make headway from midfield as Cullen-Lattin dealt well with everything put up to them. The best Cahir move of the game saw a five-man move open the West Tipp boys’ defence as Keelan Hickey played the ball to Paul Frazer, who fed Dean Lonergan whose shot was smothered by Cullen-Lattin net-minder Ger Ryan.
Cullen-Lattin were reduced to ten men early in the second half following a mis-timed tackle. With Cahir manager Tom Ryan introducing the youth team’s top-scorer David Finnane for his debut, it gave the Park a thee-pronged attack that they hoped would break through a well-marshalled defence.
However after 73 minutes the goal that was to divide the teams came when Davy Heffernan - who had replaced the injured Alan Hayes - picked the ball up thirty yards out, continuied his run to make room for himself and fired past the flailing arms of Brian Sweeney. Shortly afterwards a shell-shocked Cahir were also reduced to ten men, also for a second yellow card. Applying incessant pressure for the equaliser the Park bore down on the Cullen-Lattin goalmouth. Shane Ryan had what was to be the best chance to bring this game to extra-time when he was through on goal and one-on-one with keeper Ger Ryan, but Ryan held his nerve and pushed the ball away for a fruitless corner-kick to the delight of the visitors.