herald

Wednesday 20 September 2017

laurel and cabinteely grab silverware glory

Plenty of sizzling action produced in two LFL finals over the weekend as the sun came out to create traditional weather conditions for cup showdowns.

If anything the Caribbean-style sunshine was a tad too warm as players had to toil under sweltering conditions at Bluebell United's ground in search of glory.

On Saturday the boys from Laurel Lodge and Islandbridge braved the midday sun to produce a Haroldville Cup final encounter that wasn't short of drama or magic -- and most of it was conjured up in the closing seconds of a tight contest.

The sides finished 1-1 at the end of normal time after a dramatic closing chapter. There were just a few minutes on the clock when Laurel Lodge edged in front. Simon Fleming was sent tumbling just inside the box and Declan Cunningham stepped up to cooly convert the penalty.

Not to be outdone Islandbridge hit back and with the last kick of normal time Mark Fogarty struck with an equaliser.

The balance of play flowed in extra-time until Declan Cunningham rifled home for a dramatic winner for Ger Grehan's men.

Mark Kavanagh executed a number of superb saves for Islandbridge. "We had a few walking wounded today but the lads gave it everything," said Islandbridge official Alan Bolton.

Yesterday it was again back to Bluebell's ground this time for the Tom Watkins Cup decider and it turned out to be another cliffhanger that went down to the wide.

Both sides managed to produce two goals in normal time with Jordan Williams twice finding the net for Cabinteely FC.

Glen Ledden's Park Orient side showed plenty of spirt to fight back with Alan McLoughlin and Derek Brennan (penalty) hitting the target.

There were no further scores produced and the contest went to a protracted penalty shoot-out. Shots were missed by both sides however, in the end Dave Clack's young Cabinteely side held their nerve to win 8-9 in the shoot-out.

"The lads were brilliant today, they really played well, kept working away. The heat was a problem but myself and my assistant Dave Gibbons made sure they got water on board at every opportunity," added Clack.

His young guns are still in contention for the Sunday Division 1 title and he hoped this was the first leg in a double success.

Yesterday however, Cabinteely FC were left with a gleaming trophy to mark their debut season in the LFL.

For Park it was a case to what might have been. They had a couple of shots to win but could'nt get themselves across the finishing line depite contributing handsomly to a fine encounter in front of a couple of hundred spectators with Shane O'Ruairc in goals for Cabinteely proving a real hero with a couple of vital penalty saves.

Referee Tom Dempsey kept a close handle on preceedings and was able assisted by Ben Connolly, Johnny Walker and Patsy Browne.

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