Blues enjoy cup glory in glorious Cork sunshine

Waterford United skipper Michael Devine holds aloft the Munster Senior Challenge Cup.

In safe hands: Waterford United skipper Michael Devine holds aloft the Munster Senior Challenge Cup.

Waterford United 2; Rockmount 1

The Waterford Football Club first won the Munster Senior Cup back in 1934-35, and during the 87 years of the competition’s lifetime, they’ve gone on to lift it on 12 other occasions.

Lucky 13 arrived on Tuesday week last (June 2nd) as they lifted the famous trophy on a very hot evening at Turner’s Cross, which was actually hotter than Mexico City that same day.

Among the interested spectators was new Ipswich Town manager, Roy Keane. Looking tanned and relaxed, ‘Keano’ turned up to watch his brother Pat skipper the hard working Rockmount side who made the Blues work hard during the second half of the contest.

Despite the fact that Waterford face a tough away game against Shelbourne in the league, Blues boss Stephen Henderson fielded a full strength team. 

The Rockmount players appeared to be a little nervous during the opening minutes as the sun blazed down from above, and they fell behind after only six minutes.

Gary Dunphy crossed from the right to David Grincell who had his back to goal and despite being surrounded by two defenders; he found the net from 10 yards with a low shot that gave Rockmount goalkeeper Mark Power no chance.

Grincell was back in the thick of the action one again on 14 minutes when he forced Power into a smart save from Power with an angled strike from the left side of the penalty area.

Former Waterford player Steve Yelverton headed over the Blues crossbar on the half hour mark when he met a free kick from the right taken by Chris Butt.

Both Grincell and Gary Dunphy were also involved in the second Waterford goal, with Grincell putting Dunphy through on goal. But his path was illegally blocked by Pat Keane, leaving referee Eddie McNally with no option but to award a penalty.

From the resultant spot kick, Dunphy duly sent Mark Power the wrong way from the spot to double Waterford’s lead.

Four minutes into the second half, Rockmount were back into the game thanks to a dubiously awarded penalty converted by Ross O’Callaghan. It almost went pear shaped for Waterford shortly afterwards when a delayed clearance by Kevin Waters was charged down but Aidan O’Mahony struck the ball went inches wide of Michael Devine’s right upright.

Stephen Henderson withdrew Kieran Fitzgerald after 65 minutes and sent Willie John Kiely up front to partner David Grincell, while Graham Cummins went back in to the middle of the park.

That decision settled the Blues team and another substitute, Declan Woodgate almost scored with a cross from the left on 79 minutes only for Power to tip his effort over the crossbar.

Rockmount piled on the pressure during the final 10 minutes but the Waterford defence held firm and went on to win the trophy they last won in 2007.

 

Waterford United: Michael Devine, Alan Carey, Kevin Waters, Kevin Murray, Kenny Browne, John Kearney, Kieran Fitzgerald, Paul McCarthy, Graham Cummins, David Grincell, Gary Dunphy.

Subs: Willie John Kiely for Fitzgerald (65 mins) Declan Woodgate for Kearney (71 mins) Joe Mulcahy for Dunphy (90 mins)

Rockmount: Mark Power, Gearoid O’Leary, Ken Hoey, Steven Montgomery, Willie Byrne, Colin O’Shea, Steve Yelverton, Pat Keane, Alan King, Ross O’Callaghan, Chris Butt.

Subs: Aidan O’Mahony for Yelverton (HT) Ruairi Beechinor for O’Shea (77 mins) Peter Cunningham for King (81 mins).

Referee: Eddie McNally (Cork)

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