Youths League Cup Final
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YOUTHS LEAGUE CUP FINAL
Douglas Hall 3 Tramore Athletic 1
Douglas Hall turned on the style in the second half to come from behind and defeat Tramore Athletic 3-1 in an exciting game in the final of the Errea Sports Youths League Cup at Turner's Cross on a wet Friday night.
The surface was quite slick and didn’t help and quite often passes to the front runners gathered pace and favoured the sweepers and keepers. To be fair, the ball was rarely in the air. Each side tried its best to play intelligent football even if it didn't always come off and the respective clubs must be happy that such talented players are coming through to play with the adult teams.
Tramore, well led by skipper and centre-forward Sean O’Connor, had the edge in the first half and made it count in the 12th minute. Then the busy bustling Peter Moreland, another key figure in this period, took full advantage of hesitancy in the middle of the Hall defence to blast his shot past keeper Adrian O’Donovan.
Douglas were a different team after the break though their comeback was spurred by a soft enough equaliser in the 55th minute. Amazingly, Troy Kelly was unmarked at the far post as Kennedy’s free from the left came in. Kelly himself was somewhat surprised and took a while to get control before rolling the ball past the keeper. It struck the far post and Long was on hand to finish the job.
Richard Arnopp was beginning to emerge as a candidate for man of the match with his electrifying runs on the left and it was he who would put the Hall ahead on the hour. His scintillating run left his marker on the deck and he cut into the box. The defence was reeling and Arnopp's low drive looked good for the far corner until it took a wicked deflection off a defender and ended in up going by the near post.
The Hall hit that clincher with less than ten to go and again Barry was involved. He hit a terrific cross from the right corner flag. Burke's header was well blocked on the line by Dorney but the grounded keeper could do nothing as the Hall number nine cracked in the loose ball to make it 3-1.
Douglas Hall: Adrian O’Donovan, Kevin O'Sullivan, Graham Coughlan, Derek O'Sullivan, Seamus Long, Mark O'Callaghan, Troy Kelly, Shane Kennedy, Neil Bourke (captain), Stephen Barry and Richard Arnopp. Subs used: Dave Burke for Coughlan (86th) and Dave O'Connor for Kelly (88th).
Tramore Athletic: Dave Dorney, Roy Coughlan, Colin McSweeney, Paul Kerrigan, Robert O'Sullivan, Roy Keating, Peter Moreland, Mark Maher, Sean O’Connor (captain), Ken Murphy and Thomas Horgan. Subs: Paul Murphy for Coughlan (injured 63rd minute) and Darren Moore for McSweeney (82nd).
Referee: John Lyne.
Douglas manager Eoin O'Sullivan was glad to get his side in at the break: “The first half, we were poor. We didn't get enough of the ball in to our forwards; we didn't get a sniff at a goal. We got them in at half-time, had a good long chat with them, sorted a few things out.”
“We came out and gave an outstanding display. I’d have to agree that the half-time talk was the turning point. You saw that display. Fantastic. There’s not many teams that could have stayed with them.”
“I thought Richard Arnopp gave an outstanding display. Seamus Long at centre back was also outstanding as was keeper Adrian O'Donovan, all fantastic. And in the last twenty minutes, Steve Barry upfront held the ball up very well, great running off the ball, and he was one of our major men tonight. Fantastic.”
Tramore manager Colm Sheehan was disappointed but was quick to congratulate the Hall: “We were a bit unfortunate, unlucky, had a couple of chances but possibly, overall, the better team won. But the team played quite well and our best were perhaps Robert O'Sullivan, Ken Murphy and Roy Keating.”