Stradbally hold slim advantage

Stradbally will head to South Offaly for the second leg of this cup tie with a lead to hold on to after the first leg played in perfect conditions on Sunday morning.

Stradbally will head to South Offaly for the second leg of this cup tie with a lead to hold on to after the first leg played in perfect conditions on Sunday morning.

As with most cup games, this was a tense affair with both sides fancying their chances to progress. Stradbally dominated in midfield in the first period and created good chances for Jody Dillon and Jake Byrne to make the breakthrough.

Shinrone however defended stoutly and looked to catch the home team on the counter attack throughout the first half.

Conor Brady broke down the left on 29 minutes and his superb cross was just missed by Ray Mullally on the edge of the six yard box, Stradbally’s best chance of the first half.

It remained 0-0 at the break but Stradbally started on fire at the start of the second half and on 49 minutes excellent work from Damien Murphy sent Derek Gorman on a fine run and he finished low to the Shinrone net from 12 yards.

Only a matter of minutes later, David Power broke down the Stradbally right and he unlocked the Shinrone defence with a super ball to put Jake Byrne in and he made no mistake with a fine finish from 10 yards.

Stradbally introduced some fresh legs to try and put more distance between the sides and were unlucky when Damien Murphy had a third ruled out on 66 minutes.

Shinrone grabbed a lifeline on 74 minutes when a ball from the right wasn’t dealt with by the home defence and the ball was finished from close range to the back of the net.

Right at the death, a Colin Beale cross from the right was met perfectly by Podge Fitzpatrick with a thundering header however the Shinrone ‘keeper made a wonderful save to his left to deny Stradbally a third.

Stradbally now head to Shinrone for the second leg hoping to build or at least maintain their advantage in the tie. Stradbally played well overall and had superb performances from Alan Delaney, Derek Gorman and Man of the Match Conor Brady.

Stradbally: Robbie Moore, David Power, Ger Byrne,Alan Delaney , Conor Brady, Justin Cookie Lalor, Damien Murphy, Ray Mullally, Jake Byrne, Derek O Gorman and Jody Dillon. SUBS: Padraig Fitzpatrick for Dillon, Stephen Buggy for Power, Conor Delaney for Lalor, Colin Beale for J Byrne, John Hayden, Benny Gannon, Patrick Robbins and Mark Gannon