Super penalty shootout victory for Westport


Westport United secured a memorable win in Thurles today to reach the quarterfinals of the FAI Junior Cup.

The visitors knocked Peake Villa out on penalties after a memorable shootout for Westport 'keeper Gary Cunningham.

The netminder saved three of Villa's spot kicks, including the final two in the regular shootout when he literally had no room for error.

The home side scored their first three from the spot before Cunningham's heroics, while Darren Browne, with Westport's first, and Joe Lawless, with their fourth, were both unsuccessful from 12 yards.

Phil Keegan, James O'Donnell and Pat Moran scored, however, and Jesper Frisch, Mikey O'Brien and Brandan Scahill scored in sudden death before Cunningham saved for a third time to secure a memorable Westport victory in Tipperary.

It was no more than they deserved either as they were the better team on the day. There wasn't much by way of action in the first half, with Westport defending well while playing into the wind.

After the turnaround they controlled the game and went close on a number of occasions, with Phil Keegan enjoying two good chances to open the scoring. His first was saved by the Peake Villa 'keeper, while his second effort went over the bar.

David Hoban also sent a header wide of the target, while Cunningham had little to do at the other end but made one very good save in the course of that second half.

The visitors had a good bit of defending to do in extra time, especially during the first period, but managed to hold out without much difficulty.

Then came the penalty shootout, and how dramatic it proved to be.

Westport's reward is a home quarterfinal against Aisling Annacotty from Limerick.

The team on duty today was: Gary Cunningham; Cillian McGlade, Mark McDonagh, Joe Lawless, James O'Donnell; Dave Cameron, Mikey O'Brien, Darren Browne; Phil Keegan, David Hoban, Peter Corcoran. The subs used were: Pat Moran, Jesper Frisch, Brandon Scahill.