Castleisland AFC News: Nerve Wracking Win in Junior Cup for Islanders

Heroics by Castleisland ‘keeper, Steven Bartlett helped keep Castleisland AFC in the FAI Junior Cup competition. Photograph: John Reidy

FAI Junior Cup Fourth Round Match Report Castleisland 1- 1 Killeaney/Bally Rovers. Castleisland win 4-3 on penalties.

By Mike Brosnan PRO

Castleisland’s A team is through to the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup and for only the fourth time in the club’s history.

Nerve Wracking Shoot-Out

But not before a nerve racking penalty shootout over a gallant and brave Killeaney/Bally Rovers outfit from West Limerick.

Castleisland started the game brilliantly and totally dominated the first 30 minutes but had nothing to show for it.

Penalty Not Given

This was mainly due to a penalty which wasn’t given when Downey was clearly brought down. Two great saves from the KBR keeper denied Feehan and Divane with both O’ Callaghan and Downey twice missing glorious chances.

In fairness to KBR they stuck to their guns and finally got a grip of things and in the 32nd minute they threatened for the first time with a long range shot which Bartlett saved comfortably.

Escape for The Island

KBR than won a free on top of the Castleisland box, a needless free conceded by McCarthy, but The Island escaped when Divane headed off the line. KBR were now on top and their superior physicality was beginning to show.

When they won their first corner in the 41st minute, they made the most of it by taking the lead despite the best combined efforts of Bartlett and Cahill to keep the ball out.

Half time 1-0.

Changing Formation

The first 15 minutes of the second half the game was very even with KBR defending very well despite the best efforts of Huggard, Walsh and Brosnan.

Castleisland, despite dominating possession wasn’t creating anything of note and the management decided to shake things up by changing formation and making substitutions.

Now entered into the battle, the young guns Mahony, O’Donoghue and Nolan and all three particularly Nolan turned the tide once again in The Island’s favour.

Never Beaten

Castleisland pushed and pushed but just could not seem to get the leveller despite newly introduced veteran McCarthy just inches away from taping the ball into an empty net.

In the 84th minute Downey was sent clear by Hanifin but once again the KBR keeper saved and it seemed that it just wasn’t to be for The Island.

But this team is never beaten and in the 88th minute they had another corner and with a host of bodies challenging for the ball it fell kindly for Hanifin to tap in a richly deserved equaliser.

Bartlett’s Stunning Save

So onto extra time and KBR had a good chance to win it in the second half of extra time but Bartlett made a great save to keep the game level.

With time running out The Island made its last substitution and the last throw of the dice.

The 17 year old Lee O’Connor made his first team debut and he was only inches away from winning the game when he just couldn’t get enough power on a header.

So, onto the dreaded shoot out and not for the first time Bartlett was joint hero of the day when he made a stunning save.

Lee’s Heroic Debut

With Downey, Hanifin and O’Donoghue all scoring it was left to young Lee O’Connor on his debut to put the island through and he dispatched it with ease.

Overall The Island was the better team and deserved to go through and it was a great achievement for a team in transition to reach the last 64.

If they are to have any chance of progressing they’ll need a favourable home draw and improve their finishing tenfold.

The club would like to thank KBR for their hospitality and the use of their fabulous facilities and we wish them all the best in their league.

Senior Team Gets Home Draw

The senior team has been handed a home draw against VEC Football Club who play in the Premier League of the United Churches Football League in Dublin.

It’s been a fantastic achievement to make this stage of the competition and the boys will be looking forward to taking on VEC who have won their league in both 2015/16 and 2016/17.The match will be played the weekend of December 1st/2nd.

Player of the Week

Stephen Bartlett for his outstanding performance in the Senior team FAI cup game including a save in the penalty shoot out.

Condolences to O’Rourke Family

Condolences to Chairman Patrick O’Rourke and his family on the passing of his grandmother Mary O’Rourke. May she rest in peace


Saturday 17th November: Daly’s Supervalu U-13’s Division 1 at 11:30am Castleisland AFC v Dingle.

U-11 Academy 1pm Killarney Athletic v Castleisland AFC.

Sunday 18th November: Denny Premier B 11:30am Classic FC v Castleisland AFC B venue Mounthawk Park.

Munster Junior Cup second Round at 2pm Castleisland AFC v Cedar Galaxy.

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