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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Arklow complete a clean sweep!

ARKLOW TOWN.......................................... 2

BLESSINGTON FC........................................ 0

Arklow crowned a magnificent season as they did an Wicklow League/South Dublin U18 Youth double.

Already League champions, the 'Town grabbed two second half goals to see off a spirited Blessington side in the Cup final last Saturday at Finn Park, Kilcoole

It meant for the second season running, the Bridgewater Centre Park based club won both the League and Cup titles at Under 17 and Under 18 levels.

Daryl Sullivan came off the bench to find the important break-through in the 65th minute.

But he was off the pitch substituted when goal machine Ryan Murray's claimed his 51st goal of a remarkable campaign.

In fairness to Blessington, they went into the tie with a depleted squad and only had one sub at their disposal.

They lost left back Eoghan Cummins to injury by half time and winger Arnie Griffiths picked up a knock but played on which left them virtually with ten players for most of the second period.

Despite all that, they did lot bring a single save of any note of 'Town goalkeeper Gary Browne.

It might have been a different story had Conor Dillon managed to get a touch to Cian Long's low cross with the goal at his mercy in the 43rd minute.

It had finished 6-1 to Arklow when the teams met last April in League action. But despite bossing possession of the ball, they failed to take any of their 13 first half shots on goal.

The closest they came was Dylan Orr's 20th minute effort that rattled the post.

In truth, it was one way traffic in the second half with wave after wave of Arklow attack's.

That pressure finally paid off with 25 minutes left on the clock. Murray showed strength and determination to win the ball back after losing it. Orr laid off to Ciaran Burke who whipped it into the box off the right wing.

Sullivan ghosted in off the left channel and got a glancing header which bounced past Blessington custodian Stephen Kitt.

They finally wrapped up an unbeaten domestic season of 26 games in the first minute of stoppage time.

Man of the match Cormac Breslin embarked on a solo that left no less than five opponents in his wake.

And then teed up Murray to made no mistake with low 14-yard finish.

It capped a wonderful season for the striker who had netted a hat-trick in Arklow's 12-1 demolition of Greenhills Boys the week previous in the Under 17 Cup final.

Arklow Town: Gary Browne; Ciaran Burke, Kevin Kennedy, Jamie Heffernan, Ryan Byrne; Graham Byrne; Cormac Breslin, Jack Watson; Cormac Byrne, Dylan Orr; Ryan Murray. Subs: Daryl Sullivan (for Cormac Byrne half time), Ciaran O'Reilly (for Sullivan 88 mins), Neill O'Reilly, Aaron Jackson, Conor Kinsella (all not used).

Blessington FC: Stephen Kitt; Lee Byrne, Ian Richardson, James Kearns, Eoghan Cummins; Arnie Griffiths, Darren Larkin, Andrew Byrne, Killian Fitzpatrick; Conor Dillon, Cian Long. Subs: Jordan Morris (for Cummins half time), Adam Fitzsimons (not used).

Referee: Dominique Lachaussee. Assistants: David Earls, Noel Stafford.

paul dowling

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