Home Sport Soccer Stradbally Town pull off giant killing in dramatic fashion

Stradbally Town pull off giant killing in dramatic fashion

The Stradbally Town team that won after a penalty shoot out this morning
The Stradbally Town team that won after a penalty shoot out this morning

Clonaslee United 0 Stradbally Town 0 (Stradbally win 5-4 on penalties)

John Farrell Combined Counties Cup Round 3

The magic of the cup was alive and well this morning as Stradbally Town knocked a side two divisions above them out of the cup.

The John Farrell Combined Counties Cup is the top cup competition available for Laois sides to enter and this morning saw Stradbally, a Division 2 side, travel to Senior Division team Clonaslee United.

Last weekend, Stradbally Town advanced to the third round of the Paddy Cotter Cup via a penalty shoot-out win over Highfield United and that experience certainly stood to them today.

Conditions, like all sporting events on Sunday, were tough with a soft surface, intermittent rain and a strong wind blowing back towards Rosenallis.

Facing into it in the first half, Stradbally were on the back foot for most of it, relying on counter attacks to try and create a chance.

Clonaslee United were patient and passed the ball around smartly at the back and into midfield without really carving out any clear chances.

Indeed Stradbally probably should’ve been ahead on the half hour when Danny Kelly had a chance from eight yards which forced the home keeper Seamus Rosney into a save.

Justin Lalor and Liam Knowles were bright in midfield and combined to play Sean Devoy a ball to the right on 36 minutes but his pin point ball across the box was scrambled away to safety and it remained scoreless at the break.

With the wind behind them the visitors pushed up on their opponents just as Clonaslee had in the first half on Stradbally.

This forced the home team into conceding possession in the middle third and first to benefit was Podge Fitzpatrick who struck a shot from 30 yards forcing an outrageous save from Seamus Rosney in the Clonaslee goals who tipped the ball onto the crossbar.

The ball rebounded back to Danny Kelly who dispatched it to the net from 10 yards, however, he was adjudged to be offside.

Clonaslee forced a couple of corners from attacks that were few because of the stiff breeze they faced into but Ray Mullally marshalled his back four well, clearing to safety when required.

Damien Murphy and Derek O’Gorman were sprung from the bench for the last 25 minutes with Murphy using possession well.

Stradbally thought they had won it on 86 minutes, Justin Lalor beating two Clonaslee defenders just inside the area before hitting a curling left foot strike that agonizingly struck the post and away.

And so the game headed for extra time where chances were few and far between – the best falling to the home side who thought they had gone in front on 97 minutes when Niall Hogan forced the ball past Wayne Comerford only for Kevin Holahan to somehow scramble the ball off the line with a superb clearance.

Penalties were now required to split the teams Ray Mullally, Justin Lalor, Derek O’Gorman, Podge Fitzpatrick and Colin Beale converted all five Stradbally spot-kicks with Wayne Comerford, just as Jack Larkin did the week before, proving to be the hero when he saved Clonaslee’s third spot kick down low to his right.

And so Stradbally Town march on to the next round.

Clonaslee United

STRADBALLY TOWN: Wayne Comerford; Colin Beale, Billy Murphy, Ray Mullally, Kevin Holahan, John Clancy, Justin Lalor, Liam Knowles, Podge Fitzpatrick, Sean Devoy, Danny Kelly. Subs: Damien Murphy, Derek O’Gorman, Jack Larkin, John Hayden, Conor Brady, Johnny O’Toole, Jake Byrne, Jamie Devoy, Barry Whelan

CLONASLEE UNITED: Seamus Rosney; PJ Fitzpatrick, Jack McCane, Ger Reilly, Gerard Dunne, Michael Hyland, John Rigney, Glen McEvoy, James McRedmond, Niall Hogan, Patrick Hyland. Subs: Mark McEvoy, Jack Owens, Darren Hogan

SEE ALSO – LIVE BLOG: Follow all Sunday’s sporting action here

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.