it's oscar and out for gallant sligo
SLIGO-LEITRIM's brave quest for Oscar Traynor glory ended in the sunshine at Ray McSharry Park yesterday when visitors Clare edged home on penalties after the sides had finished deadlocked at one apiece
Both sides were well prespared and looked extremely sharp and Clare's Con collins and home skipper Gary Rooney had a battle royal in the middle of the park.
Clare pressed hard in search of an opened and the Sligo Leitrim defence had to be at their best to repulse the Bannermen.
On 25 minutes Clare's Eoin O'Brien seen a great free kick cleared by Gary Rooney five minutes later and Sligo Leitrim's keeper Tony Clarke saved brilliantly from the feet of Derek Fahy.
Nine minutes into the second half and Clare's towering defender David Russell pulled down Keith Nibbs in the penalty area.
Referee Tommy Cormican immediately pointed to the spot and Nibbs himself dispatched the ball past John Healy in the Clare goal.
The lead lasted just eight minutes as Calre hit back through Eoin O'Brien.
Sligo Leitrim was now pressing hard and with ten minutes remaining Gareth Kelly was just inches wide of the Clare goal but after 90 minutes it was all square and the game headed into extra time.
Opportunities were limited in extratime and it was evident that it was going to take penalties to separate the side.
First up was Clare's Daryl Eade against Tony Kelly in the Sligo Leitrim goals and he made a superb save.
Then Gino O'Boyle in goal for Sligo made a great stop of John Healy's spot kick.
David Russell was next against Kelly and Clare were one up. Neal McKenna then levelled it and Eamon O Reilly put Clare ahead once more
Patrick Callaghan was next for the home side and he planted the spot kick to the net to tie the gameu p again.
Mattie Nugent stroked home for Clare and once again back of the net but John Gaffney kept his cool to level matters again.
The last two were on the spot Con Collins fired home for Clare with the last man Keith Nibbs scoring for Sligo Leitrim now it was sudden death.
Eoin O'Brien banged home his spot kick and up stepped Lee Marshall to save the day for Sligo Leitrim but his shot was high and wide and Clare went progress to the semi-finals in a cracking encounter.
Match referee Tommy Cormican and his assistance Frank Daly and Declan Toland from Roscommon had an excellent game while proceedings were overseen by FAI Junior Council key committee member John Sherlock from the Roscommon League.