Second-half goals from Craig Reddan and Shane Power, scored within a minute of each other, were enough to book Fairview Rangers B’s passage to the quarter-finals stage of the O’Halloran Cup.
In a game that offered its bemused audience little in the way of entertainment, Fairview goalkeeper Niall O’Connor was put to sleep quicker than most. Rushing bravely off his line to snuff out an early through-ball, O’Connor’s head unfortunately collided with a Granville knee, ushering in his understudy Tony McCarthy.
McCarthy was reduced to an interested onlooker for the majority of the first-half, as Granville failed to test the substitute until its closing minutes. Striker Alan Sheehan drifted left to collect Corey McCallum’s injury-time cross-field ball and tee up left-back Johnny Togher to test the Fairview goalkeeper at his near post.
While Fairview were broadly on top, with Craig Reddan and Christy Moran showing occasional potential to unlock Granville’s resolute defence, it was the pro-active defending of centre-back Stephen Gallagher that led to their two only real chances of the half.
Gallagher’s 36th-minute sortie into the Granville half to dispossess striker Daniel Malone led to a fast-break that saw Aaron Murphy play through strike partner Kieran Long, whose resultant strike flew over Kevin McGlinchey’s crossbar.
The defender repeated the trick again just before the break, producing an attack that saw Long beat centre-back Ian Whelan on the byline and deliver a low cross that barely evaded the outstretched Murphy at the near post.
Granville improved in the early stages of the second stanza, and Darren McCormack’s flick over the head of Trevor Daly and subsequent half-volley deserved better than the save it forced from McCarthy.
Niall Doran stood out among the Granville cohort on display, thanks to both his tenacity and his distribution, but the central midfielder made his most important contribution of the night on his own goal-line when he cleared a goal-bound strike from a Fairview corner.
Doran’s efforts were soon for naught however, when McGlinchey spilled a long-range effort and Reddan followed up to convert the opener.
An admirably attack-minded Fairview then put the game to bed directly from the restart, when both full-backs combined in the Granville area to double their side’s advantage. Daly’s strike was parried out to the centre of the box by McGlinchey, where Shane Power was waiting to drive home the rebound.
A late comeback was not forthcoming, and a misfiring Granville front-line were ultimately unable to prevent their local rivals from advancing to a quarter-final against either Aisling Annacotty B or Holycross.
Reddan 77′, Power 78′
Man of the Match