Nolan stunner rescues Tolka

Tolka Rovers 2 College Corinthians 2

With either Sherrif YC or Avondale United to join one of them once their tie is fulfilled, there will definitely be two rank outsiders in the last 16.

Since the Airtricity League switched to summer soccer, upsets involving non-leaguers had been scarce with these two teams on the brink of the end of their respective campaigns.

This was Tolka’s fourth competitive game in a week (losing two) and their third at their Frank Cooke Park home with Cobh Ramblers and St Pat’s CY due to use the venue this afternoon.

Third in the table on Leeside, Corinthians’ four point haul from the last nine games in the MSL suggested that they too would need to focus on the cup competitions for solace.

Still, Corinthians will have little time to rest on their laurels after this exacting clash with a visit to all-conquering Avondale pencilled in for Thursday evening.

Alan McDermott, Karl Sommers, Eamon Moylan, Morgan Cranley and Peter Rodgers all sat this one out for Tolka due to injury, while Corinthians were also depleted with just 14 players at their disposal.

Managed by the brother of Shelbourne striker, Dean Kelly, who was on target at the same time less than a mile away, Tolka boss Jason Kelly is one of the most experienced around at intermediate level.

On a pristine surface, Tolka surged in front with their first shot on target, as Darren Doyle and Paul Ryan linked up to deadly effect.

Sixty seconds before the breakthrough, it took a thumping Peter Morland tackle on Ryan inside the 18 yard line to deny Tolka an early sight of goal.

Tolka’s fifth minute strike from their first shot on target was well worth the short wait as Doyle started and finished the attack, initially springing Ryan free.

Ryan got to within 10 yards of goal and fired in a low drive which Corinthians goalkeeper Rory O’Neill saved, and the predatory Doyle was on hand to convert the rebound.

Visiting goalkeeper O’Neill was having a busy night, and he brilliantly denied Tolka’s Jordan Nolan with a one handed save inside the six yard box.

Tolka almost made it two when Ryan lobbed the advancing O’Neill, but the chip lacked the precision to cross the line.

The home side were left to rue that chance when Corinthians countered for an equaliser just 90 seconds later.

Having been idle early on, O’Neill’s opposite number Paul Tancred was beaten twice in a 10 minute spell before the half hour as Corinthians emerged after a slow start.

First-off Richard Tobin directed a Jack French cross beyond Tancred with 19 minutes played before Rufus Holmes got on the end of a Gareth Cambridge ball on 29 minutes.

Chances were scarce during the opening exchanges in the second half, although Nolan nearly made it two apiece with a rasping drive that struck the side-netting.

Tolka didn’t have to wait long for the leveller with Nolan spectacularly levelling affairs 20 minutes from the end with the aid of the post, after Sean Skelly won a corner.

TOLKA ROVERS: Tancred; Fitzpatrick, Hanna, Murtagh, Murray; Somers, O’Neill, Skelly (Swan 79), Nolan; Ryan, Doyle.

COLLEGE CORINTHIANS: O’Neill; Carroll, McDonnell, Gallagher (O’Donovan 84), French (O’Mahony 78); Madden, Cambridge, Morland, Tobin; Stanton, Holmes (Browne 77).

Referee: B. Connolly (Dublin).

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