GLENCAR CELTIC KEPT their nerve to defeat newly-crowned League champions Arranmore in a tense Voodoo Venue Cup semi-final this afternoon.
Glencar Celtic 1 Arranmore United 1
after extra time; Glencar Celtic win 4-2 on penalties
It was the latest chapter for The Diamond Park’s book of penalty shoot-out dramas as Glencar moved into the final at the expense of Jerry Early’s Islanders, a week after they were crowned champions of the Old Orchard Saturday Division.
Glencar goalkeeper Dominic Friel saved shoot-out penalties from Declan Proctor and Chris McGlanaghey to help send his side into the final.
While John Greene and Gavin McGlanaghey were successful from the spot for Arranmore, Glencar scored four-out-out-of-four in the lottery with Mark Graham, Eddie McLaughlin, Garvan Grieve and Aaron McCafferty on the mark.
Glencar would have felt that they might have booked their final tickets long before then, but Arranmore, too, had their moments.
Declan Scanlon’s opener for Glencar in the 62nd minute was cancelled out just seven minutes later by Michael McHugh.
Scanlon fired Glencar, deservedly, in front. McLaughlin was key in the build-up as he beat his man before a cross was blocked down. Michael Molloy picked up the loose ball and squared to Scanlon, who hammered home.
Arranmore were sparked to life then and it didn’t take long for them to draw level.
Declan Proctor’s free was delivered all the way to the far post, where McHugh drifted in to volley high to the Glencar net.
Glencar had been the brighter side in the opening half.
Greene had kept Arranmore in it, saving early from Eugene O’Sullivan’s dangerous ball in before McLaughlin blazed over after Molloy picked him out with a fine pass.
The writing looked on the wall for Arranmore when Glencar broke in a four-v-three attack, but Graham pulled his shot wide.
They weren’t having it all their own way and Gavin McGlanaghey had a couple of good openings for the Islanders. Glencar kept him at bay and it was the Letterkenny men who, again had the better start to the second half.
Greene’s superb one-handed save denied Scanlon before his resistence was finally broken by Scanlon. The inside of the Arranmore post had prevented McLaughlin from opening the scoring in the dying moments of the first half.
After Arranmore got back on level terms, they could have sneaked it, but neither side could snatch a winner.
Arranmore were fuming when, six minutes from the end of normal time, Glencar defender Mark Forde escaped with only a yellow card when he took down McGlanaghey and it was certainly a lenient call by referee Patrick Martin.
The best chance in extra time went the way of Arranmore, with Forde hooking off the line from Conor Proctor.
The sides headed for the centre circle to view the penalties and it was Glencar who were rushing for the victory huddle.
Glencar Celtic: Dominic Friel, Anthony Doherty, Charles McLaughlin, Paddy O’Kane, Mark Forde, Eugene O’Sullivan (Aaron McCafferty 90), Mark Graham, Garvan Grieve, Declan Scanlon (Rian Doherty 75), Michael Molloy, Eddie McLaughlin.
Arranmore United: John Greene, Phil Boyle, Michael McHugh, Danny Rodgers, Conor Proctor, Edward McGowan (Kenny Early half-time), Sean O’Hara (Shaun Sharkey 80), Martin Proctor, Declan Proctor, Chris McGlanaghey, Gavin McGlanaghey.
Referee: Patrick Martin.Tags: