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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Frawley's final say

Hanover Harps................................................ 0
Willow Park.................................................... 1

Hanover Harps and Carlow's dream of a final outing in Tolka Park in the LFA Junior Cup ended with a Park goal nine minutes into extra time.

Harps started brightly with Alan O'Brien unlucky when his shot on three minutes from an acute angle hit the side netting.

Then the game settled down and Willow Park began to dominate on their left wing with Aidan Hyland been given too much room and time to run at the Harps defence and they nearly took the lead when Harps 'keeper, Robbie Moore failed to connect properly and the ball dribbled just wide. Then on ten minutes at the other end Harp's Phil Neenan failed to connect properly with his shot in a goalmouth scramble.

Alamos immediately, Park attacked the Hanover goal area but Sean Kavanagh who had an excellent game in the centre of defence for Harps denied Aidan Hyland of a goal.

Hanover at this stage was still giving Hyland too much room on the wing and he continuously was allowed to run at the Harps defence, but Kavanagh time after time cut short the Willow advance.

When Hanover move the ball forward, Mark Carpenter, who worked his sock off up front, time after time found himself isolated with only Mark Kelly to pass to, both been heavily outnumbered and unable to set up a worthwhile attacking movement.

The half ended scoreless.

Two minutes into the second Aidan Hyland whipped the ball across the front of the Harps goal and despite the numbers there, no one managed to direct it in.

Derek Hayden was then introduced off the Hanover bench, replacing Neenan. Anytime Harps got into the Park half, they tended to take the wrong options allowing themselves to be closed down quickly.

Hanover then made a further substitution with Kelly been replaced by their young striker, Graham Delaney and with almost his first touch following a goalmouth scramble sent his shot just over. Willow were very good at putting together an attack involving great passing movement between four or five players, however Sean Kavanagh for Harps kept them at bay and they tended in the last quartet to take long range shots instead.

In the dying minutes, Park's Aidan Hyland cut in from the left and his acute shot scraper over, one of their best chances of the half.

In the dying minutes of normal time, Harps Delaney was very unlucky when his shot scraped the paintwork of the Park's crossbar.

In extra time, Willow continued in their methodical approach and in the last minute of the first period, Aidan Hyland was rewarded for his great work throughout the game when he and Benny McGuiness set up substitute Brian Frawley to score the only goal of the game.

Just on the whistle before the turn around Park nearly sealed the game when a Colly Hyland cross found his brother Aidan with an open goal at his mercy, but he pumped it over.

In the second period Hanover were forced to push forward and in a last ditch effort from a Cathal Coughlan corner kick, Eric Robinson nearly equalised with a header.

However, Park who had already played 120 minutes on Thursday night had done sufficient to take on St. Paul's in the final and will prove a difficult side for the AUL side to breakdown.

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