EA Sports Cup Report: UCC 1 - 1 Cobh Ramblers (Cobh win 4-3 on penalties AET)Thu, Mar 12 2020
Dylan O'Connell reports from the Mardyke
Cobh Ramblers progressed in the EA Sports Cup following a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win against UCC after a 1-1 draw at the Mardyke on Tuesday evening in one of the final matches played before the postponement of football due to COVID19 .
In this first round clash, extra-time goals for Cian Leonard of the Ramblers and Owen Collins of UCC ensured that the League of Ireland First Division and Munster Senior League Premier Division pairing would go the distance at the famous venue on the banks of the River Lee.
UCC qualified for the tournament after winning the 2018/19 Munster Senior League Premier Division, and were looking for a repeat of their 2015 heroics. That year, the college progressed through two rounds of the tournament, beating First Division sides Wexford Youth and Cobh Ramblers, before getting knocked out by League of Ireland champions Dundalk in the quarter finals.
To Cobh, the EA Sports Cup will forever represent a definitive moment in the club’s 98 year history. This comes from their run in the cup in 2018, which brought them to their first ever senior national cup final. In a journey which brought them across the island, the Rams saw there way passed Wexford, Limerick, Longford, and Dundalk, to reach the final against Derry City. That day, the Candystripes ran out 3-1 winners in a spirited cup final between the two sides.
A sense of adventure seemed to take over the Students for much of the first half, with Noel Healy’s side forcing a number of last ditch tackles and clearances from the Cobh defence. This started just five minutes in when a corner ball was almost turned in by Matthew McKeviitt.
The Ramblers grew into the game, and got their real chance on the half hour mark when a long ball forward was flapped at by goalkeeper Arthur Nganon and fell to Leonard who was facing goal.
In the second it took for him to get a touch, James Sheehan burst into the forward’s view and muscled the ball from the striker and cleared to safety.
UCC closed out the half with an excellent chance from McKevitt who twisted free inside the area and shot, with the ball beating everyone except for Paul Hunt, who caught it on the line.
The second half saw an improvement from Cobh. This was triggered by the introduction of Conor Drinan, who would be a consistent problem for the Students.
The Ramblers best chance of the half was a free kick when Pierce Philips beat everyone in the ball and forced a hand from Nganon to claw the ball from the top corner.
Daniel Pender almost gave UCC the lead in injury time but his shot went out for a corner. From that. McKevitt’s ball bobbed onto the line and covered by Hunt.
In extra-time Cobh took the lead when Leonard tapped in a loose ball from Nganon in goal. The Students equalised immediately when Owen Collins had a shot from twenty yards out bob in passed a diving Hunt.
In the shoot out, Cian Leonard, Pierce Phillips, Adam Foley and Charlie Lyons all converted to send Cobh into the second round of the EA Sports Cup.
UCC: Arthur Nganon, Gordon Walker, Rian O’Sullivan, James Sheehan, Ethan Hurley, Jack O’Sullivan, Conor Bowdren, Ronan Hennessy (Ify Nzewi 90’), Daniel Pender, Owen Collins, Matthew McKevitt.
Subs not used: Alex Minihane, Kajus Vitkevicies, Charlie Whaley, Joseph Higgins, Thomas O’Donovan, Vjekoslav.
Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt, Kevin Taylor, Stephen O’Leary (Conor Drinan 45’), Ben O’Riordan, Charlie Lyons, Cian Leonard, Dave Hurley, Cameron Harison (Lee Devitt 67’), Adam Foaly, Stephen O’Connor.
Subs not used: Bryan Murphy, Gavin Ryan, Martin Coughlan, Jamie O’Sullivan, Mickey Foley.
Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan