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Ballyphehane Celtic v Wilton United 06.12.06 final

Ballyphehane Celtic v Wilton United 06.12.06
 Linnane League Cup final
Ballyphehane Celtic


Ballyphehane Celtic 1 Wilton United 0
(after extra time).

Ballyphehane Celtic defied the odds once again as the Premier rookies struck deep in extra time to defeat Wilton United 1-0 in a thrilling final of the Murphy’s Stout Linnane League Cup at Turner’s Cross on Saturday night.

Just the one goal but there was no shortage of skill and passion. No paucity of talking points as the southside teams brightened up the cold winter’s evening, a credit to their managers John Leonard (Wilton) and Dave O'Mahony.
 The first half was even enough but Wilton were on top for much of the second. Centre forward Hugh Shields laid the ball off left and right and found willing helpers on each flank. Ian Dooley and Brian Kelly raided up the left while Paul O'Mahony and Shane O’Neill displayed their exciting skills on the right.

But it all came to nothing as keeper Alan Crowley defied them regularly. Indeed, Ballyphehane had the best chance of the half. Danny Long’s penalty, which he had earned himself, was well saved by the Wilton keeper David Lordan.

Alan O'Mahony had starred in the Celtic defence all evening and the converted striker showed he had lost none of his forward skills when he arrived on cue at the far post to fire in the angled winner, reminiscent of the equaliser he netted against Grattan in the semi-final thriller.
 After a even start, Celtic enjoyed a good spell midway through the first half. Danny long, on a typically strong run, was downed near the 18 yard line but nothing came of the free. Then Johnny Towler broke through on a long ball, knocked it over Lordan only to see Noel O’Donovan take it off the line.

Wilton had their chances. Keeper Crowley did well well to stop a potent Paul O'Mahony cross from reaching the head of Shields and, in the 41st minute, an O'Mahony shot from a Shields knockdown was cleared for a corner.

Celtic almost took the lead in the 44th minute, following a sweeping move. Danny Long let fly from 25 yards and Lordan produced a splendid save and neither Trevor Dunlea nor Long were able to profit from the rebound.
 O'Neill was more prominent in the second half as Wilton took the initiative. But, in the 56th minute, after a multi-pass move, he just failed to turn Dooley’s low cross past Crowley. Three minutes later, after great work between Dooley and Shields on the left, O’Neill incredibly lifted the ball over the top from three yards out.

A brilliant O’Neill run then ended with Paul O'Mahony heading straight at Crowley. The penalty incident came in the 65th minute but Long was denied when Lordan parried and then pounced on the rebound.

Wilton though were also wasting chances. In the 70th minute, O'Neill skilfully worked his way past three defenders only to see his shot bounce to safety off the shoulder of a surprised keeper. Five minutes later, a well worked free saw O’Donovan set O’Neill free for a cross that tempted both Shields and Dooley and they got in each other's way at the far post.
Danny's Ball
 In the 80th minute, O'Neill took a  return pass from O'Mahony but Crowley made a fine save to keep Celtic in it. Wilton were still on top as normal time came to an end.

The winner came in the 109th minute. Gerry Murphy’s well hit free from the right found O'Mahony racing in by the far post and his angled drive flew past Lordan and into the far corner. Wilton gave it one last go and, in added time, Paul O'Mahony saw his header taken off the line by Johnny Towler, one of the unsung heroes of Ballyphehane, and then the Celtic celebrations began.
Left foot

Ballyphehane Celtic: Alan Crowley, Jonathan Murphy, Gerry Murphy, Alan O’Mahony, Philip Long (captain), Danny Long, Trevor Dunlea, Eric Dunlea, Wayne Dunlea, Johnny Towler and Aidan Calnan. Sub used: David Bennett for W. Dunlea (interval between normal and extra time).
Wilton Utd: David Lordan, Phil Haly, Brian Kelly, Tom Murphy (captain), Noel O’Donovan, Brian Leonard, Shane O’Neill, Billy Shanahan, Paul O’Mahony, Hugh Shields and Ian Dooley. Subs used: John O'Mahony for Leonard (81st minute) and Mark Ryan for Shanahan (88th).
Referee: Pat Murphy. Assistants: Gene Stephens and Finbarr Murphy.
Keeper pounces

Eyes Down

Man of Match

Trevor's header

Wilton Utd, Wilton, beaten in extra time. Linnane League Cup final, Turner's Cross, Ballyphehane 1 Wilton Utd 0 (aet), Billy Lyons