TWO excellent goals were enough to help the all-conquering Freebooters Youths complete their treble dream.
In a dramatic and exciting game, the Blues beat their long-time city rivals Evergreen to win the Buckley Youths’ Cup in Derdimus on Saturday, adding the silverware to the league and Henderson Shield titles they had already secured this season.
Evergreen started the brighter of the two sides, with Keane Martin and David McGeary proving to be very dangerous whenever they were in the ’Booters half. With a strong wind at their backs Evergreen were able to force the ball into the Freebooters box, but their aerial pressure didn’t pay off.
The play wasn’t all one-way, as Freebooters relieved the pressure on their defence and broke into attack. Robbie Hayes gave Evergreen a real scare on the 20 minute mark when he raced on to a low cross whipped towards the back post but his shot flew over the bar. Captain Conor Keane also lent his support to the offensive mood, making his way up the pitch from full-back, but his shot was parried away by ’keeper Tom Phelan.
Neither side was able to direct their attempts at goal on target, but Evergreen suffered a major blow when their central midfielder Sean Lambe was sent off following a dispute over a free-kick. It was after this that Freebooters started to get on top, their passing proving to be less restricted owing to the extra space created by that dismissal.
Evergreen held firm however and allowed Freebooters very little chance room to create anything for the remainder of the first half.
With the man advantage it was no surprise to see Freebooters go on the attack from the start of the second half, with Aaron Duggan and Conor Keane leading the charge. Evergreen gamely responded, but despite their best efforts their attacking play failed to yield a shot on goal. Their forwards were beginning to feel the frustration, while their midfield was starting to show signs of fatigue.
The Blues had another good chance when Paddy Cahill’s effort from outside of the box bobbled just wide of the Evergreen right post, but it was after this that ’Booters really turned up the heat. After some trickery on the right wing Aaron Duggan crossed the ball into the danger area. The resulting clearance bounced to Robbie Hayes who looped his header over ’keeper Phelan, the ball nestling in the corner of the Evergreen net.
Freebooters were dominant now, playing with a confidence which had eluded them for most of the match. As for Evergreen, they were down but not out. They almost grabbed an equaliser on a breakaway when the lightning-quick David McGeary shot from distance, but his effort arrowed wide.
The game was put to rest soon after, however, when a clearance from the ’Green’s defence fell to Jason Hennessy. Twenty-five yards out from goal, Hennessy took his time and struck the ball sweetly on the half-volley, watching as hi shot soared into the net.
Hennessy’s goal ended the game as a contest. All that was left was for ’Booters captain Conor Keane to lift the trophy after a pulsating cup final.
Freebooters: Craig Cummins, Diarmuid Ryan, Conor Keane, David Kenny, Cathal O’Leary, Paddy Cahill, Aaron Duggan, Brian Hickey, Eoin Kavanagh, Jason Hennessy, Robbie Hayes.
Evergreen: Tom Phelan, Gerry Walsh, Luke Kavanagh, Ivor O’Brien, Danny Farrell, Sean Lambe, Keane Martin, Gavin Burke, Colm Walsh, David McGeary, Eddie Teehan.