Munster Junior Cup
Aisling win on penalties win 9-8 on penalties
It took more than 110 minutes and 24 penalties to eventually separate Aisling Annacotty and Janesboro FC after an enthralling Munster Junior Cup encounter at Pearse Park today.
Aisling Annacotty eventually won a game of the season contender when Keith Mawdlsley held his nerve in sudden death to fire his side through to the next round.
The win came after a nail biting and exciting encouther that ended three a piece after 90 minutes, saw two extra time goals and 24 penalties.
Janesboro went into the game after a midweek league win over Annacotty and looked likely to repeat the feat when John Tierney, who scored a brace during the week, guided his shot through a crowded area from outside penalty area to give Boro an early lead.
Boro grew in dominance with possession and territory but could not force home that advantage, but were prone at the back to quick counter attacks through the pace of Keith Mawdesley.
The Aisling Annacotty crowd were rapturous when the hard working Gustavo Santos reacted quickest against a static Boro defence to take teams in level at half time.
Boro again had possession early in second half, but wasted it with constant high balls in to their well shackled strikers.
However, hesitation in the visiting central defence allowed Shane Clarke control on edge of penalty area and fire accurately wide of the reach of Stephen Walsh and put Boro back in front.
Aisling responded well and had a purple patch midway through second half with Brian Butler and Jason Lipper combining well, but only occasionally worrying Boro keeper.
The visitors were rewarded when Jason Lipper got a toe to a ball that was not cleared properly to restore parity.
Boro, who were semi finalists in the cup contest last season, were rocked and Aisling were in dream land when Keith Mawdesley converted a penalty to put Annacotty a goal to the good for the first time and with time running out.
However a fortuitous penalty for Boro scored by Shane Clarke took match to extra time.
Extra time was frantic and enthralling with Aisling again stealing ahead thanks to a Jimmy Burke strike with just minutes remaining.
However fitting to the nature of the tie local hero Shane Clarke leveled and with an finish that turned out to be the curtain raiser for a mammoth penalty shoot out.
Stephen Walsh, who in an interesting sub plot was returning to his former club, had his strategy sorted and he saved Shane Clarke and Boro’s first peno. The inform net minder got his hand to three of the next four however, 22 penalties later the tie was still going.
Shane Clarke stepped up again, but his cheeky attempt to chip home was saved giving Mawdsley the task of scoring the 24th penalty. He took his chance and handed a 9-8 victory on penalties to a delighted Annacotty.