The Riedy Cup decider on Saturday night proved to be a very fitting first Final for the newly-named Mick Hanley Park as AK United and Shountrade produced an action-packed thriller in which AK prevailed 4-2 in extra-time.
Shountrade were bidding to win the trophy for the third season in a row but they suffered an early setback when AK opened the scoring in the 4th minute when Cathal Downes met Kevin O’Keeffe’s free-kick at the far post and headed in off the post.
However, it only took Shountrade four minutes to get back on level terms. A corner from the left wasn’t cleared and Joey Shire delivered a sideline cross that was met with a diving header from Shane Reynolds that went in off the post.
AK almost regained the lead two minutes later when skipper Kenneth O’Donoghue dribbled infield from the left and rocketed against the cross bar from 20 yards but they did go back in front in the 29th minute when Brendan McCarthy scored direct from a corner.
Shountrade also had their chances, David Lynch’s 20-yards shot drawing a great save from Paudie Ivess, Denis Hayes glancing a header against the post from a corner by Shire and Declan Mullane firing over from a cross by Riedy but, as time ticked away, it looked as if the second-half would remain scoreless and AK’s half-time lead would be enough to see them to victory.
However, there was an equaliser in Shountrade and it came four minutes into injury-time. Adam Reidy somehow managed to squeeze an angled free-kick inside the far post and his pumped-up celebration showed how much it meant to him.
The first period of extra-time was mostly uneventful but there were two decisive moments in the second period. The first of them came when Maher and Alan Ryan combined to set up substitute Blaine Collins, whose shot was saved by Lenihan. The rebound broke to Downes, who capped a Man of the Match performance by steering home from an acute angle. The game was still on a knife-edge but the AK supporters were able to relax when Curran ran onto Anthony Cregan’s flick-on from halfway, stormed past his marker and kept his poise to fire past Lenihan.
AK United: Paudie Ivess, Kevin O’Keeffe, James O’Shaughnessy, Anthony Cregan, John McCarthy, Brendan McCarthy, Cathal Downes, Alan Ryan, Kenneth O’Donoghue, Keel Moloney, Mark Curran. Subs: Niall Maher for O’Donoghue (65 mins), Blaine Collins for Moloney (75 mins), Dave Dolan for B. McCarthy (85 mins), Jason O’Shaughnessy for James O’Shaughnessy (110 mins), Hugh Sheehy, Timmy Mulvihill, Ronan Hanley.
Shountrade: Donie Lenihan, Cathal Finn, Ryan McCarthy, Joey Shire, Bryan Meade, David Lynch, Mark Mullane, Richard Shorten, Tim Frawley, Adam Reidy, Shane Reynolds. Subs: Denis Maune for Frawley (56 mins), Denis Hayes for Lynch (75 mins), Declan Mullane for Meade, inj (81 mins), Denis Dunworth for Mullane, inj (102 mins), David Shire for Reidy (109 mins), Padraig O’Gorman, Mikie Doody.
SHEAHAN INSPIRES GLIN TO VICTORY IN THRILLER
The game of the day on Sunday was undoubtedly the Premier Division League Cup first round tie between Glin Rovers and Broadford United, which the home team won 5-4.
The see-saw nature of the game continued when Gary Culhane equalised in the 70th minute and the tie was decided in the 75th minute when Sheahan completed his hat-trick to give Glin a memorable victory.
Rathkeale took a big step toward regaining the Premier Division title when they secured a hard-earned 3-2 victory away to Ballingarry.
Rathkeale opened up a 2-0 lead with a brace from Pa Ahern, taking his tally for the season to 24.
Aaron O’Connor pulled a goal back a minute before half-time and Dylan Singh equalised in the 50th minute. Alan O’Shea scored a crucial winner in the 77th minute, taking Rathkeale nine points clear.
However, the title race is far from over as second-placed Abbeyfeale United have two games in hand and the two teams have still to meet each other in Rathkeale in the second-last game of the season.
Division 1 League Cup
Adare United are through to the last four of the Division 1 League Cup after winning 3-0 away to Rathkeale B. Chris Carey scored the only goal of the first-half and the other two goals were scored by Ian Derwin and Jack English.
Pallaskenry made sure of a place in the top half of the Division 2 table when they won 3-1 away to Askeaton. Mikey Kavanagh and Rory Cullen added to a first-half goal from Brian Kelly and Paul Doyle scored a consolation goal in the 90th minute.
Richard Hogan Cup
Broadford United Reserves reached the semi-finals of the Richard Hogan Cup when they won 5-1 at home to Killeaney/Bally Rovers Reserves. Jack Pierce (2), TJ Kelly, Martin Daly and Matthew Daly were the scorers.
RATHEALE, BROADFORD AND GLIN TIPPED TO ADVANCE
Three of the four Desmond Cup quarter-finals take place on Sunday. There is one all –Premier clash, holders Rathkeale travelling to Carrig Celtic.
The last time that Carrig reached the semi-finals was in 2006 when they went on to lose to Newcastle West in the Final. Rathkeale, the holders, have been in the last four in each of the last three seasons.
They have been remarkably consistent all season, unbeaten in the Premier Division and leading by nine points. Carrig are on a good run of form at the moment, unbeaten in five games. Their last defeat was a 5-0 loss away to Rathkeale at the end of January. The score will be much closer this time but I still expect Rathkeale to come out on top.
AK United (Division 1) v Broadford United (Premier Division)
AK United have reached the semi-finals twice in the last three seasons. They were mid-table in Division 1 last season when they suffered a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Abbeyfeale United.
It will be different this time as they go into the game as Division 1 leaders and Reidy Cup Champions after their exciting victory in Mick Hanley Park last Saturday night. Broadford will need to be at their best to come out on top but the fact that their season depends on this game leads me to believe that they will do enough to advance.
Forecast: Broadford United
Glin Rovers (Premier) v Askeaton (Division 2)
Finalists two seasons ago and winners the season before that, Glin Rovers will go into this game in confident mood after their dramatic 5-4 victory against Broadford United in the League Cup last Sunday. Askeaton just managed to squeeze into the top half of the table for phase 2 in Division 2
Forecast: Glin Rovers
WEEKLY AWARD FOR SHEAHAN
The Weekly Award this week goes to Paul Sheahan who scored a hat-trick in Glin Rovers’ dramatic 5-4 victory at home to Broadford United in the Premier Division League Cup.
He will go into a draw with the other Weekly winners for a €100 voucher from Adrenalin Sport of Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West at the end of the season.