Waterford United 9 – 0 Tralee Dynamos
Waterford United rattled in nine goals at the RSC in their EA Sports Cup 2nd round match last night, as they ran riot against a hapless Tralee Dynamos side. It was the Blues’ biggest scoreline since their 11-1 win over Rialto in the FAI Cup in 1972. Man of the Match George O’Callaghan hit the net five times, matching Alfie Hale’s feat in that Rialto game, and was desperately unlucky not to have had a double hat-trick.
United made five changes from Friday night’s win at Tolka Park. Kevin Burns featured in place of Chris Konopka in goal, Alan Carey returned after the birth of his son Josh, starting at centre back in place of Paul McCarthy, James O’Sullivan took over from Timmy Purcell in midfield, and David Grincell and Gareth Cambridge got the nod up front, the first time the pair have started together. O’Sullivan twice went close in the early exchanges, before the scoring was opened on ten minutes, O’Callaghan rifling a well executed volley inside the left post from 15 yards, after a superb crossfield ball from Paul Carey had found Kevin Waters in acres of space to cross low from the left. Grincell almost nipped in shortly afterwards, lifting a dinked O’Callaghan pass over Tralee ‘keeper Derek O’Shea outside the area, only for Theo Diggins to get back and hook clear.
On the half hour O’Callaghan made it two, a similar set-up to the first but an even better finish. The Corkman started the move, feeding Grincell wide on the right, who cut inside and played it across to Waters. A quick slip wide to Liam Kearney, a neat cross, and O’Callaghan was well placed to pick up the half-clearance, skip around the challenge of Kevin McCarthy, and fire low and left-footed into the opposite corner of the net. Almost before the celebrations had died down it was 3-0, as within a minute O’Sullivan and Cambridge broke forward at pace, O’Sullivan playing a perfectly weighted short angled ball past the last defender and into the area for Cambridge to run onto and fire under O’Shea for a deserved score.
That spurred the visitors into action, and they had two opportunities in quick succession from the 36 minute mark, both set up by Edward Duggan from the right, first cutting one back from the endline that Chris Kerins stepped over, allowing Peter W McCarthy a good sight of goal that the high and wide shot didn’t match, and then playing a neat sideways pass for Damien Diggins to also fire over the top. O’Sullivan forced a fine save from O’Shea immediately at the other end, and the game headed towards the half-time break.
The Blues started the second 45 with any thoughts of simply playing out the tie absent from their minds. George O’Callaghan sent a cheeky sidefoot effort just wide of the far post two minutes in, but moments later he made amends, picking out James O’Sullivan beautifully with a neat pass along the edge of the box, the Tipperary man applying a sublime lob to beat Derek O’Shea from 15 yards. Liam Kearney was next to try his luck, weaving his way through the area only for Damien Locke to block his shot on the line. Gareth Cambridge then forced O’Shea into an acrobatic save to tip over, but it wasn’t to be much longer before Waterford’s fifth, and O’Callaghan’s third, hit the back of the Tralee net, prodded home from close range from Kevin Waters’ cross on 68 minutes.
Cambridge then went close to doubling his tally, thwarted by a fine low block from O’Shea, but he turned provider moments later, a wonderful cross from the left picking out John Kearney, who sent a towering header back into the far top corner. And just three minutes after that, the best move of the match saw O’Callaghan in again for a fourth. Gary Dunphy found Liam Kearney with a penetrating ball from deep. Kearney layed it off sideways as O’Callaghan stepped over and kept running, onto a wonderfully weighted Cambridge through ball, the midfielder touching it round the advancing keeper, retrieving and turning back onto his right foot, and firing in a low shot that Locke couldn’t keep from crossing the line. Clearly enjoying himself, O’Callaghan almost notched a fifth when he tried an audacious 35-yard lob from wide on the right that dropped onto the top of the crossbar, but he made it to five on 82 minutes, finishing superbly inside the right post from 15 yards after Liam Kearney had made a fantastic run from inside his own half.
In between, David Grincell capped his fine performance with a deserved goal on 80 minutes, sidefooting home past a despondent keeper from six yards after an overlapping Timmy Purcell had cleverly picked him out with the pull back. O’Callaghan kept up his search for the double hat-trick, with an even more audacious attempt from ten yards inside his own half falling just short on 86 minutes. Two minutes from time the midfielder slipped at the vital moment as he raced in to convert Liam Kearney’s cross, the winger set clear into the left corner by a neat behind-the-heel chip from Waters. And moments later O’Shea got down well to hold an 18-yard effort from O’Callaghan, the last act before the game came to a blessed end for the visitors. Simply outclassed on the night, the Dynamos, who in some small mitigation were also missing quite a few regulars, will hopefully recover quickly and raise themselves to meet the challenge one eye was always on, Tolka Rovers away in the second round of the FAI Cup this weekend, and we wish them all the best in that.
Waterford: Kevin Burns; Paul Carey, Alan Carey, John Kearney, Liam Kearney; James O’Sullivan, Gary Dunphy (Timmy Purcell 77), George O’Callaghan, Kevin Waters; David Grincell, Gareth Cambridge – subs: Chris Konopka, Paul McCarthy, Vinny Sullivan, Willie John Kiely
Goals: O’Callaghan 10, 30, 68, 74, 82, Cambridge 31, O’Sullivan 49, J Kearney 71, Grincell 80
Tralee: Derek O’Shea, Peter W McCarthy, Jeffrey Roche (Peter T McCarthy 32), Damien Locke, Kevin McCarthy, Theo Diggins, Joe Hurley, James Sugrue, Damien Diggins (David Conway 63), Chris Kerins, Eddie Duggan (Jamie McIntyre 73) - subs: Robert Birdsall, Eoin Cassidy
Booked: K McCarthy, Peter W McCarthy
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford)