Breen brace sends Bunclody through
John Breen sparkled with two goals, the winner arriving five minutes from the end of extra-time to hand his Bunclody side a hard-earned victory over Moyne Rangers 'B' in this Neil O'Sullivan Cup opening round game in Bunclody on Sunday.
Bunclody 2 Moyne Rangers 'B' 1 (AET)
For all but one minute of normal time, Bunclody looked to have done enough to secure their place in the draw for the next round, but in a dramatic final few seconds the Enniscorthy town side struck for an equalising goal which brought the game into extra-time.
Moyne Rangers had experienced quite a deal of pressure, but the manner in which their back four coped, to go along with the excellent netminding of Pa Doyle, saw them remain in the game.
They looked dangerous with their quick counter-attacks and, given their input over the course of the game, they deserved that levelling goal, albeit in the closing few seconds.
Both sides gave their all in the excellent conditions, as the pitch was in fine shape despite the recent weather.
Going along with the backdrop of the snow-covered Blackstairs, it made for a fresh resumption of the league.
However, just two games survived the cull, leading to a huge build-up of games as this was the fourth successive week that there has been a wipe-out of fixtures.
Both sides took some time to settle, with few chances created through the opening 15 minutes.
Midway through the half Moyne Rangers came close to opening the scoring when Dillon Redmond forced a superb save out of 'keeper Gary McCleane.
Minutes later the netminder once again came to the rescue of his side when he got down smartly to cover a low Dayle Donohoe shot from the right edge of the area.
John Breen was becoming more influential in the Bunclody midfield and it was fitting that he fired his side in front two minutes before the break. Adrian Wychek sent over a cross that was met by the left boot of Breen who crashed a superb 25-metre shot to the left corner of the net.
That gave his side a 1-0 lead to take into the interval, although they had to depend on a goal-line clearance from right-back Owen Dunbar to deny the visitors a goal just on the break.
But with Breen and John Thorpe becoming more influential in midfield, Bunclody began to probe away at the Moyne back four. And when Breen and Shane Franklin did manage to get shots on goal, they were denied by the safe handling of 'keeper Pa Doyle.
However, as the game progressed it became somewhat bogged down in midfield, with Moyne restricted to a couple of long-range efforts that flew outside the post.
Then as the clock ticked down, Dillon Redmond swung over a corner-kick and Diarmuid Cullen rose unchallenged to power a downward header to the corner of the net, making it 1-1. With no further time left, the sides were forced into extra-time.
Both went hunting for a goal during the first period but neither managed to create a worthwhile chance.
The game looked to be destined for the dreaded penalty shoot-out until Breen popped up five minutes from the end of the second period of extra-time to power a superb 15-metre header from an Adrian Wychek ball across 'keeper Pa Doyle into the opposite corner of the net.
It provided a fitting finale for the home side, but a dramatic exit for a battling Moyne Rangers outfit.
Bunclody: Gary McCleane, Owen Dunbar, John Savage, Tim Bolger, Adrian Wychek, P.J. Mulhall, John Breen, John Thorpe, John Melia, Shane Franklin, Stephen Ryan. Subs. - Paul Nolan, James Dunne, David Halpin, Timmy Halpin, Glen Cullen.
Moyne Rangers 'B': Pa Doyle, Seán Cloherty, Diarmuid Cullen, Aaron Ronan, Seán Kenny, Tomás Mahon, John Peare, Dillon Redmond, Brendan Dunne, James Peare, Dayle Donohoe. Subs. - Niall Thorpe, Timmy Dwyer, Ryan Hadley, Joshua O'Byrne.
Referee: Kieran Dunne.