President's Cup Final details below
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Kilreen Celtic 2 Togher Rovers 1
The young guns of Kilreen Celtic came good in extra time to see off the stern challenge of a more senior Togher Rovers side in the final of the Murphy’s Stout President’s Cup at Turner’s Cross last evening.
Kilreen, who finished well behind champions Togher in AUL 3, were the underdogs for this third division knockout trophy. But the league games between the pair had been high scoring thrillers, evenly contested.
Last evening’s encounter didn’t quite produce a goal feast. Kilreen did go ahead in the first half. They were forced back after the break and Togher equalised. But Paul Sherlock’s favourites failed to turn the screw and faded in the final quarter and there then was a feeling in the Cross that Harry McGovern's kids would do the trick in extra time.
The opening goal came in the 24th minute. Denis Murphy hit in a very good free from the left and Marco Petrassi reacted well in the box, outjumped his marker and headed in by the near post.
Sherlock’s men piled forward. O’Leary played Sisk in but his effort was stopped, as was the follow up by O’Sullivan. Kilreen were fully stretched and their defence was breached in the 59th minute.
Not by the Togher forwards though but by their defenders. Kilreen had pushed up towards the half-way line when Sherlock picked up the ball and floated a well judged pass over the defence and into the path of left full Ger Byrne. He outpaced Petrassi in the race and let fly. The keeper made a great save from the first shot but was powerless to prevent the second making it 1-1.
The final quarter was a tame affair. Kilreen had the best effort, with three minutes to go. Rob Hayes got in on the left, his strong run ending with a cross that was headed away, just about, by Togher sub Dave Wallace. The pressure stayed on but Kilreen didn't make the best use of the free awarded when a Murphy shot was handled just outside the box.
McGovern’s young guns were reloaded for the prolongation and took the honours. The winner came five minutes into the opening period. Ger Crowley latched onto a long ball and sent in a shot that looped over advancing keeper Punch and into the back of the net.
Kilreen also had the better of the second period. Midway through, scorer Crowley sent Rob Hayes in against keeper Punch but it was the Togher custodian who came out on top.
Kilreen sub Kieran Brennan had the chance to put the icing on the cake in the final minute. After taking a return pass from Hayes, he found himself face to face with keeper Punch but Punch made a terrific point blank save.
Kilreen Celtic: Greg O’Brien, Joe Richmond, Mick Walsh, Paul Collins, Paul Morgan, Billy Twomey, Denis Murphy, Pat Cunningham, Bob Hayes, Ger Crowley and Marco Petrassi. Subs: Kieran Brennan (for Petrassi 80), Shane Houlihan, Harry McGovern and Conor Cronin (for Walsh, 17ET).
Togher Rovers B: John Punch, Richie O'Mahony, Ger Byrne, Keith Haines, Paul Sherlock, Liam O’Donovan, Richard Fitzgerald, Colm O'Leary, Aidan O'Sullivan, Liam Sisk and Kieran Nagle. Subs: David Wallace (for Haines 82), Alan Aherne, Gavin O'Keeffe, Timmy O'Keeffe (for Nagle, 11ET) and Mark McDermott (for Fitzgerald, 9ET).
Referee: John Thompson.