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Friday 22 September 2017

Old and New face-off in intriguing Tully Cup final

The Tully Bookmakers Challenge cup final has a unique pairing of the old and the new with one 125 year old Premier Division Clones Town facing a fledgling Club of only three years in existence, Trim based Knightsbrook.

The final tie is set for Saturday evening with a 6.45. Kick off in Hunky Dorys Park. home of Drogheda United.

Clones Town are hoping to crown off their 125 year celebrations by adding the MDL Cup to the many honours they have won in various Leagues in their long and proud history.

Among the honours are: the FAI Junior Cup Ulster area and Midlands area (only club to have achieved this double, Leinster Senior and Junior Leagues, Fermanagh and Western League Mercer League Cup, Donegal League Winners, Cavan/Monaghan Athletic Union League, Louth Cavan/Monaghan League (on numerous occasions), Dundalk/Cavan/Monaghan league, (multiple winners), Longford District League (multiple winners), Capaldi Cup winners, Meath and District League Division 1 winners, and numerous other trophies besides.

Currently they are the holders of the Meath and District League Division 1, Louth /Cavan /Monaghan League Cup, L/M/C..Andy Capaldi Cup, James Reavey Challenge Cup.

On paper it looks a daunting task for Knightsbrook who have packed so much into their short three years in existence.

The origins of the club stem from the seven-a-side tournament which the MDL host annually, and in 2006 they took the plunge to enter into full eleven-a-side competition.

They took the Division four title last season along with the Reilly Cup, and got to the semi final of the Blue Riband Tully Bookmakers Cup defeating top Premier Division side Carrick Rovers along the way.

This season they have gone from strength to strength, once again putting Carrick to the sword, along with another top Premier side Duleek, and top Division one side Marsh Celtic, along with a narrow defeat on penalties in the semi final of the Leinster Shield to Midlands side Banagher United.

It makes for an intriguing match that could go either way. The paths to the Final saw the teams ending with the same goal difference with Clones scoring one extra, their route included wins over Boca Rovers 4-0, Bohermeen Celtic 3-1, Johnstown 2-1, a hard fought quarter final win over Woodview Celtic by 4-3, and in the semi-final getting through 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Albion Rovers.

Knightsbrook started their campaign with a 5-3 success over Kingscourt and thereafter faced very stiff opposition in the form of Premier Division Duleek where they won 2-1, and Carrick Rovers where they had to come from behind in extra time to eventually get through by 3-2.

A quarter final win over Division one high flyers Marsh Celtic by 1-0 got them to the stage where they bowed out last season but this time they proved too good for their division one opponents Dromin Utd with a comfortable 2-0 victory.

Clones Town's management: team include the experienced Keith Douglas brother of Swindon Town starlet Jonathan and Noel Butler, while their coach is Shane Reavey.

Knightsbrook are managed by Scottish native Mick Craig who is assisted by David Buckley.

Clones Town: Fergal Connolly, Ronan Mc-Donald, Ryan Mc-Cormack Sarto Quigley, Danny Rooney, Colm Monaghan, Niall Cassidy, Brian McDonald, Gary Mc-Kenna, Simon Douglas, Gerard O'Callaghan, David Masterson, Darren Freeman, Barry Leonard, Gary Toye, Stephen Smyth, Sean Mc-Donald, Patrick McGonnell, Kieran Kearns, Eoin Morrow, Richard Rooney, Sean Duffy, Gary Deery.

Knightsbrook: Eugene Goulding, David Gibney, Darren Blaney, TJ Garry, Alan Gilbane, Anthony Craig, James Curran, Cillian Ryan, James Moynihan, Craig O'Hanlon, Eddie Murray, Stephen Murphy, Gavin O'Neill, David Buckley, Alan O'Brien, Trevor Dempsey, Stephen Goulding, Clayton Keegan.

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