WEEKLY OBSERVER DESMOND CUP FINAL 2016
GLIN ROVERS “A” CAPTURE THE 2016 DESMOND CUP FOLLOWING PENALTY SHOOT OUT.
GLIN ROVERS “A” V RATHKEALE “A” 2-2 (A.E.T. & WIN 5-4 ON PENALTIES).
Glin Rovers “A” returned to the Weekly Observer Desmond Cup Final for the first occassion since last winning it in 2009 this past Friday night. Mike McLoughlin and Thomas Wallace brought their team and its Supporter’s to Newcastle West AFC’s grounds at the Demesne, Newcastle West in glorious conditions for a game. The Facilities and Playing surface were top class and a credit to everyone at Newcastle AFC.
Glin Rovers “A” lined out as followed: Mike Stack in goal, James Wallace, Brian O’Donovan, Tadhg Culhane & Padraig Costello in defense, Karl O Sullivan, Edmund Horan, John Wallace and Kevin Sweeney in Midfield and upfront we had Paul & Darren Sheahan. The Squad was complete with Jack Fitzgerald, Karol Geoghegan, Michael Sweeney, John Kelliher, Gary Culhane. Midfielder Dave Culhane was away in U.S.A. Physio: Joe Sweeney.
From the Kick Off Rathkeale looked anxious to exert themselves on Glin Rovers and gain control of Glin’s half of the pitch. On 3 occasions in the first 7 minutes James Wallace had to clear the danger, once with a great diving header to prevent the ball reaching a Rathkeale player in shooting distance of our goal and twice more he cleared the ball for throw in’s. Glin Rovers nearly took the lead on 5 minutes when Karl O Sullivan hit the side netting from a corner kick, it was a close one. Rathkeale managed to break Glin’s cover inside the penalty area from an acute angle on their left hand side but Mike Stack saved well at his near post form a Rathkele shot.
Rathkeale shot wide of the post on 11 minutes following a dangerous break and they were very dangerous on the break but to their credit Brian O Donovan, Tadhg Culhane, Padraig Cosello and James Wallace were putting in the tackles where they were needed most. Although Rathkeale had the better chances in the opening 20 mintues it was Glin Rovers who were playing the better foot ball. Karol O’Sullivan began to get more in to the game from 20 minutes in an on 21 minutes he made a good run down the right wing and secured a corner. Edmund Horan was very unlucky not to have scored from the incoming corner. He connected with the ball it was blocked by a rathkeale player on the line and then cleared. On 22 minutes Karl played a great ball between two Rathkeale players on the right wing leaving Paul Sheahan with the ball inside the Rathkeale penalty area, he passed to Darren but Rathkeale were able to block Darren’s shot and clear the ball away. Paul and Darren combined again on 25 minthes just outside the box unfortunately Darren’s ball into Paul was pulled back for a free out due to an offside. John Wallace was covering defensive duties in midfield early on and he was breaking up Rathkeale possession well.
We got a scare on 30 minutes when Rathkeale hit the crossbar, it could easily have gone in to the net but thankfully it went out of play. Brian O Donovan then cleared a dangerous shot on goal for a corner which Edmund Horan defended well and the ball was cleared out of our penalty area. Rathkeale drew first blood however on 42 minutes, a header from close range from a kick in across the square made it 1-0. They hit us again 2 mintutes later with a magnificent free kick from what must have been 30 yards out. Mike Stack could never have got to it it was a great strike.
We went it 2-0 at half time and everyone knew it was going to take some effort in the second Half for Glin to come back. Glin Rovers “A” came back from 2-0 against AK Utd in the Semi final so we knew there was always fight left in the team and it could be done.
We had played well in the first half and John Wallace and Edmund Horan had prevented Rathkeale form getting hold of the ball in midfield througout the first half. John Kelliher and Jack Fitzgerald came on for the second half for us, Kelliher slotted in up front, Darren dropping into midfield and Jack went in to the backs. From the Kick Off Glin went straight at Rathkeale. Within 2 minutes John Kelliher was played in by a good ball behind two defenders by Darren. John got in front of them but the keeper did well to secure a clearance. 2 Minutes later Karl and Darren combined down the right wing to force a corner but the sucsequent corner was cleared. Jack Fitzgerald did well on two occassions to stamp out Rathkeale attacks and Tadhg was called in to action a few times with good tackles on Rathkeale players.
10 Minutes in to second half we were rewarded for our perseverence. Mike Stack released a quick ball to Karl O Sullivan who beat two defenders in a 30 yard run down the right wing before threading a sublime ball in past another defender to John Kelliher, Kelliher squared the ball to Paul Sheahan who was well positioned just inside the box. He took one touch and then bang !!, a low powerful curling shot past a diving keeper and tucked neatly in to the far right hand side of the goal. Glin Rovers “A” were back in action. Karl and John were tormenting Rathkeale down the right wing in the second half and on 58 minutes they combined well again, this time Kelliher squared the ball to Padraig Costello but the play was called back for an offside. Kevin Sweeney was pushing Glin forward at every opportunity and himself and Padraig Costello were threatening on the left wing in the second half. Padraig was desperately unlucky not to have scored on 60 minutes, he stuck a good shot from 20 yards out but the keeper made a fine save at the expense of a corner. Glin’s motivation to win this game was very evident in the second half. Mike McLoughlin and Thomas Wallace have the team in tip top shape and not one of the player showed much signs of fatigue during the game, thats a credit to their coaching system. When Rathkeale did get into our half Tadhg and Jack were tackling very well and holding their advances up. Brian O Donovan really came into the game in the last half hour, he made some great clearances at the heart of the defence throughout the game. Padraig Costello put his body on the line at least twice in huge tackles and his experience really showed in the last 20 minutes of normal time. Karl and John really did have a 25 minute spell in the second half where they tormented the Rathkeale defence.
The move of the game came 23 minutes into the second half, Karl and John attacked once more down the right wing, Kelliher played Karl in with a fine ball into the box, Karl attempted to shoot but Rathkeale cleared the ball. Fortunatly for Glin the ball fell to Paul Sheahan. In one move he struck the ball in past a diving Keeper and into the back of the net. It was 2-2 and no more that we deserved, The Glin Supporters on the sideline erupted as Paul ran over to celebrate. It was level pegging once more with it all to play for now. Edmund Horan covered acres of ground tonight and he was very good for Glin when we needed to defend corners and free kicks, he has a great presense in the air. Kevin Sweeney did very well to head clear a dangerous ball a few minutes after the goal and Brian O Donovan made 2 great interceptions in the 72 & 75th minutes. Padraig Costello blocked a shot on goal with 8 minutes left but we were really thankfull to Brian O Donovan on 87 minutes when somehow he was able to clear a sure goal of the line by deflecting it over the crossbar. The game ended 2-2 after normal time, it was an entertaining 90 minutes, a good clean game with some good football by both sides, Rathkeale are a good side with a Tradition of winning Trophies.
Extra Time: Most of the action in Extra time came in the closing minutes of the second half, Glin Rovers came close to scoring, on both occassions the Rathkeale keeper saved from Karl and John Kelliher and Edmund Horan headed clear from a cross in with 1 minute remaing in E.T.
Penalty Shoot Out:
Paul Sheahan, Karl O Sullivan, Brian O Donovan, John Kelliher and Darren Sheahan would take the Glin Penalties. Rathkeale went first and scored, Glins first 2 penalties were scored by Paul and Karl and Rathkeale scored their second also. Brian O Donovan slammed the 3rd penalty home for Glin before Rathkeale’s 3rd penalty was struck wide. John Kelliher scored our 4th penalty and Rathkeale scored from their 4th kick also. It was 4-4 and Darren Sheahan woul d step up to the plate to take our 5th Penalty knowing that if he scored it would be enough to bring the Desmond Cup to Glin.
Darren duly obliged and dispatched the ball to the back of the net, low and to the left hand side. The Glin Supporters cheered for Joy and Darren ran to the far touchline followed by his team mates and a share of supporters in what could only be described as “DICEY CELEBRATIONS”……..
Paul Sheahan also picked up the Man of the Match Award. Congratulation Paul.
Congratulations to Glin Rovers “A” Players/Management and many thanks to all our supporters who travelled to the Game. Thanks also to Geoghegans “Magpie Bar” for sponsoring a set of Gear Bars and to “Wallace Paving” for sponsoring a set of Polo Shirts for the Team for the Final.
Michael Stack made a fine speech as captain and it was back to Glin with the Desmond Cup. Its worth mentioning that 3 Young players, James Wallace, John Wallace & Karl O’Sullivan have won a Desmond Cup medal in their first year with Glin Rovers “A”, hopefully they will have more to come…
Special Mention to Founding Member James Dore who once again travelled home from the U.K. to see Glin Rovers “A” win the Desmond Cup.
Finally to Rathkeale FC, who were brilliant on the night. If was one to the best, cleanest fairest cup finals ever to due to a very good Rathkeale team. We wish them the best in the future.