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Midleton started the better team playing some great football and were awarded for their play they took the lead on three minutes, James Leahy was fouled after a driving run and up stepped Jake Hegarty to smash his effort into the top right hand corner from 25 yards.

In the 15th minute, Midleton almost doubled their lead again from a set piece but this time Hegarty’s effort drifted narrowly wide.

And just a minute later, an Avondale corner and Mark O’Sullivan tried put his head on it but was denied by Andy O’Donoghue who just got a fist to it and punched to safety.

In the 34th minute, Midleton almost made it two when a long throw put Leahy through on goal with Avondale goalkeeper, Sean Barron closing down and saving well and a last ditch challenge ensuring the rebound from Leahy was kept out too. Two big decisions by the referee turned this game around when Danny Morrissey was taken down in the penalty spot and should have been given a penalty to penalty and from  that resultant play, Avondale broke and O’Sullivan was fouled just outside  the penalty area and despite the protestations from Midleton, referee, Finbarr Murphy pointed to the spot and Josh O’Shea duly fired home to the bottom right corner to draw the sides level.

Avondale jumped in front five minutes before the break when a speculative long range free kick wasn’t dealt with by Midleton and Danny O’Connell came around on the blind side to toe the ball past O’Donoghue and into the bottom corner.

The weather and in particular the wind continued to cause problems for both teams with Midleton’s Jake McCarthy and Emmet Cotter looking to link up at every opportunity down the right hand side in a good battle against Ryan Hogan and Declan Cahill operating on the left side defensively for Avondale.

Two Avondale chances just after the hour mark could have put Avondale out of sight with substitute, Vinnie O’Brien racing clear on the right but his pull back eluded everybody and then O’Sullivan raced clear but O’Donoghue saved.

Midleton kept pressing for the equaliser but the final ball was letting them down with Avondale looking to catch them on the counter.

Chances were at a premium as the clock ticked down with Hegarty going close with another free kick on 87 minutes and then drama at both ends in the closing minutes.

Vinnie O’Brien pounced on a loose pass in injury time and was taken down in the penalty area by O’Donoghue, Hughie O’Donovan stepped up to all but confirm Avondale’s place in the last four but smashed his spot kick against the post.

There was still time for Midleton and a corner kick right at the end caused an almighty scramble and somehow substitute, Damien Daly managed to fire his effort from close range off the top of the crossbar and over and that was that.

Midleton players gave it all on the day and we couldn’t have asked for more effort from this bunch of players.

Midleton: Andrew O’Donoghue, James McCarthy, Kelvin Kruschel, Kevin Murray, Gary Collins, James Leahy, Ray Lally, Tijani Aibor, Jake Hegarty, Danny Morrissey, Emmet Cotter.


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