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ST MICHAEL’S CUP FINAL
Lakewood Athletic 2 Rathcoole Rovers 0
A late first half free kick special by Gary O'Riordan put Lakewood Athletic on their way to a 2-0 victory over Rathcoole Rovers in the final of the Murphy’s Stout St Michael’s Cup at Turner’s Cross.
An injury time strike by impressive sub Joe Kelleher put the icing on the cake for Mick Carey's charges who were contesting their first ever AUL final.
It was a well deserved victory. Rathcoole gave as good as they got in the first half but lost the plot in the second. They had plenty of time to get the goal back and there was no need for panic but, with their top players played only in patches, they gave the ball away cheaply on a regular basis.
On the other hand, it all went well for the winners. Youth keeper Donnacha Murphy did well behind a reasonably solid defence where Tim Kelleher read the game and tidied up well and centrehalf Brendan O'Leary impressed with his footballing skills.
O’Riordan, aside from his 42nd minute strike, was magnificent in midfield and Martin O'Leary was another who impressed in this area. Sub Joe Kelleher also did well and deserved his goal while Noel O'Mahony was a handful for Rathcoole all through.
Rathcoole had their best chances in the first half, all before Lakewood scored. One followed a long free in by James O’Connor in the 11th minute. The ball broke back to Trevor Murphy and keeper Donnacha Murphy did very well to parry. Soon afterwards, the keeper saved well again when John A. Browne sent Adrian Nash away.
Keeper Murphy had quite a busy first half and had to be brave in the 29th minute. Then Rathcoole captain Gerald O’Connell sent John A away and his ball fell between the incoming Nash and the advancing keeper. Murphy didn't shirk and the ball ricocheted in towards the goal but Kelleher was on hand to tidy up.
O'Mahony was fouled five or six yards outside the box in the 42nd minute and midfielder O’Riordan sent a rocket flying past the left arm of keeper Fergal Walsh and into the top corner.
Rathcoole hardly threatened Lakewood in the second half though keeper Murphy did well to parry and then gather in a 72nd minute snap shot by O’Connell.
Nash had a shot fly across the goal in the 84th minute and keeper Murphy then made a superb catch off a cross by sub Michael Cashman.
At the other end, O'Mahony entertained the crowd with an amazing solo run that ended up with a mis-directed shot before sub Kelleher pounced on a penalty box back-heel by Martin O'Leary and struck the second goal that sparked a touchline jig from manager Carey.
Lakewood Athletic: Donnacha Murphy, Eamonn Mitchell, Damien Lordan (captain), Tim Kelleher, Brendan O'Leary, Gary O'Riordan, David Garry, Martin O'Leary, Sean Lordan, Noel O'Mahony and Dessie O'Leary. Subs used: Joe Kelleher for D. O'Leary (45, injured), Eoin Byrne for S. Lordan (61) and Shane O'Sullivan for G. O'Riordan (90, injured).
Rathcoole Rovers: Fergal Walsh, Tommy McAuliffe, Hugh Sheehan, James O’Connor, Trevor Murphy, John A. Browne, Alan Guerin, Adrian Nash, Vincent Browne, Tadhgie Browne and Gerald O’Connell (captain). Subs used: Michael Cashman for Murphy (66), Ger McSweeney for V. Brown (80) and David Bourke for O’Connor (88).
Referee: John Lyne.