Hibernians celebrate title success in style

Waterford Junior League, Premier Division

Hibernians 4
Tramore Rangers 2

Hibs got off to a flying start almost took the lead in the first minute. Mark O’Keeffe played the ball to Kenny Purcell who let fly from 12 yards but the Rangers goalkeeper Shane Morrissey produced an excellent save.The deadlock was broken however after 13 minutes. David Cooley won possession of the ball midway inside the Rangers half of the field and split the visitors defence with a deft pass to ace goal poacher Mark O’Keeffe who took full advantage of and placed the ball past the helpless Shane Morrissey from 12 yards.

Four minutes later O’Keeffe took his league tally to 30 goals when he scored from the penalty spot. Central defender Martin Whelan was harshly adjudged to have fouled Jason Keane and O’Keeffe sent Morrissey the wrong way from the 12 yards spot.To their credit Rangers refused to buckle following that decision and Chris Grace ran on to a long ball from David Jacob and looked odds on to score but Sean Whitty raced from his goal and took the ball off the foot of the Rangers striker.

Shane Morrissey kept the visitors in the game when he somehow managed to keep out an effort from Gavin Purcell who was put clear by David Cooley on the stroke of the interval. Two minutes into the second half Kenny Purcell hammered in a rocket of a shot from 25 yards but the ball came crashing back off Shane Morrissey’s left upright. The course of the game changed however after 55 minutes when Hibernians goalkeeper Sean Whitty had to leave the action due to a shoulder injury he had picked up in the latter stages of the opening half and he was replaced by outfield player Jason Keane.The game appeared to be well and truly over when Dylan Hersee scored from the penalty spot on 64 minutes after David Jacob had tripped Kenny Purcell inside the box.

Hibs manager Matthew Billingham introduced four substitutes on 61 minutes and with an outfield player in goal Rangers smelt blood and they pulled a goal back on 67 minutes when Zach Shanahan took advantage of a mix-up in the Hibs defence and simply rolled the ball past makeshift goalkeeper Jason Keane. Shanahan struck again after 73 minutes when he found the net with an angled low strike from the right side of the penalty area.Rangers went for broke after that goal but got caught on 82 minutes when Kenny Purcell raced free but his shot on the run struck the underside of Shane Morrissey’s crossbar before the danger was cleared. Conor Whittle wrapped up the points for the champions when he found the net on 85 minutes following great work by Kenny Purcell

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