Clover United A 1
(AET – Tullaroan won 4-3 on pens)
JASON CAHILL was the hero of the day as Tullaroan got their hands on the Division Two Cup.
The goalkeeper had a fine 90 minutes, then capped a solid performance by saving two penalties as Clover United A were sunk in a Sunday evening shoot-out at Derdimus.
The first stop saw Cahill move smartly to his left to keep out David Phelan’s kick at 1-1, before he denied fellow netminder Barry Bowe at 4-3 to make sure of the trophy.
That late turnaround was a real shock to the system for Clover – but it wasn’t the first one they had suffered. Michael Brennan gave the Rathdowney men a real jolt when he latched on to a loose ball and rifled a stunning long range shot to the top left corner of Barry Bowe’s net with 25 minutes on the clock.
Clover were rattled by that goal, especially as they had looked more likely to break the deadlock. Jason Cahill was kept busy, tipping Willie Bowe’s close range shot away to safety in the 13th minute before, two minutes later, he had his palms stung by a vicious long range Brian Bowe free-kick which swerved towards the net.
Clover United upped their efforts after falling behind, doing everything they could to try and find a quick equaliser. Paddy Murphy went close when he latched on to Brian Bowe’s excellent 39th minute crossfield ball, but he couldn’t find room to get his shot off.
Bowe himself went even closer to restoring parity in the final seconds of the half. He did, in fact, hit the net when he connected with Jason Phelan’s low raking cross, but the striker was ruled offside as he wheeled away in celebration.
The second half started with a bang for the two goalkeepers, as both were quickly pressed into action. Barry Bowe had to move smartly when Gerry O’Dea curled a 50th minute free over the Clover wall, but although Bowe saw the ball late he managed to get behind the shot.
Four minutes later Jason Cahill was called into action when Ned Browne latched on to Enda Meagher’s pass. Although Browne lobbed the ball over Cahill somehow the back-pedalling netminder managed to get his hand to the ball and push it into the side netting.
That chance was just a sign of how much pressure Clover would put Tullaroan under in the final half hour. United gave everything in search of a way back into the game – the introduction of towering sub Damien Bowe up front was a big plus – but it wasn’t until eight minutes from time that they made the breakthrough.
The goal the McCalmont Cup semi-finalists craved arrived when Brian Bowe latched on to Enda Meagher’s long pass, then held his nerve before poking a low shot beyond Cahill.
Bowe wasn’t done yet. He almost shot his side to the title when, in time added on, he stepped on to Willie Bowe’s free and drilled a powerful shot at the target, but Cahill did well to get behind the ball and hold on.
There was little drama in extra-time, although Tullaroan were reduced to ten men when sub Alan Carter was sent off for two yellow cards.
Down to penalties, Cahill gave Tullaroan the advantage when he saved David Phelan’s kick at 1-1 – he also got a hand to Brian Bowe’s penalty, but couldn’t keep it out. Tullaroan, who had scored through Brendan Burke, sub Joe Norton and Michael Burke, moved 4-3 ahead through David Dowling, before Cahill’s second save bagged the silverware.
Tullaroan: Jason Cahill, Danny Coogan, Diarmuid Burke, Michael Burke, David Dowling, Stephen Dowling (Joe Norton, 108 mins), Richie Guilfoyle (Alan Carter, 84 mins), Adrian O’Dea, Brendan Burke, Michael Brennan, Gerry O’Dea (Josh Ronan, 77 mins).
Clover United A: Barry Bowe, Willie Bowe, David Phelan, Brian Madden (Damien Bowe, 79 mins), Lee Kinsella, Paddy Murphy, Ned Browne, Enda Meagher, Brian Bowe, Sean Mullins (Bernard Geraghty, 62 mins), Jason Phelan.
Referee: John Martin. Linesmen: Eamon Holohan, Larry Buggy.