Ferrybank 1; Grannagh United 0
Ferrybank were crowned Division One Cup champions on Tuesday night last after defeating neighbours Grannagh United in a closely fought decider in Mitchell Kennedy Park, the home of Hibernians.
Grannagh were the holders of the trophy. Last season they beat Abbeyside in the final, having already won Division 1B. Following that league triumph they duly took their place in Division 1A this season and they went into this terms decider as slight favourites because Ferrybank played in the lower grade.
The team from Abbeylands on the other hand went into Tuesday’s final in a confident frame of mind due to the fact that they had beaten the champions of Division 1B, the Villa, in their semi-final. The man who guided Ferrybank to the final, manager Johnny Magee missed this final because he was away on his honeymoon, having married Siobhan Taylor the previous Saturday so needless to say text messages were the order of the day as the good folk from Ferrybank were keen to keep Johnny abreast of happenings.
During the wedding reception on Saturday, Stephen Westwood told the guests that he would score the winner if he was removed from the subs bench, and true to his word that is what he did, scoring with his first touch of the ball. Stephen replaced the injured John Treacy after 75 minutes and he rammed home the winner six minutes later. It was real “Roy of the Rovers” stuff. No doubt Johnny Magee smiled broadly when he received the news from Mitchell Kennedy Park.
On the overall run of play there is no doubt that Ferrybank deserved to win the cup. They should have had a comfortable lead at half time against a Grannagh side who never really got into the swing of the game. They are a good team but unfortunately for them they turned in a pretty poor performance and the Sheridan Cup will now sit proudly at the magnificent Village Grounds Complex for the next 12 months.
Ferrybank launched their first attack after 5 minutes of play. They forced a corner kick out on the right. Alan O’Shea swung over the ball to the far post to Pat McNamara but he headed wide.
Grannagh carved out a chance 3 minutes later with Timmy Ryan getting in a cross from the right to John Kelly but he shot high over the crossbar. One minute later Ferrybank were back on the attack with Mick Dunphy playing a long ball forward from his left full-back position to John Treacy who was just about to shhot from inside the penalty area but covering back, Robbie Kelly got in a good clearing tackle.
Four minutes later Ferrybank’s Pat McNamara picked out Colm O’Neill who in turn played the ball on to the head of John Treacy but the No 9 headed over the crossbar from a very favourable position.
Pressure continued to mount on the Granagh defence and Treacy laid the ball into the path of Colm O’Neill but he shot across the goal from the left side of the penalty area.
Ferrybank’s best chance of the first half arrived on 18 minutes. Colm O’Neill got in a very fine cross from the left but when John Treacy met his delivery he blazed over the bar from close range.
Michael Penkert then tried his luck with a 22-yard volley but Grannagh’s Paddy Dalton deflected the ball out at the expense of a corner kick.
Three minutes before the half-time break, Granagh almost scored against the run of play. Ivan Tobin played the ball out left to Colm Murphy who let fly low from the edge of the penalty area. The ball looked destined for the net but the Ferrybank goalkeeper Simone Valefeoire somehow managed to stop the ball with his right leg. The ball ran lose to Peter O’Byrne who was just about to shoot but John Kelly got back in the nick of time to clear the danger.
Grannagh got off to a decent enough start in the second half, no doubt having got a roasting from their manager Nicky Walsh at half-time. John Kelly had a shot parried away by the Ferrybank goalkeeper. The ball came back to Kelly but this time Alan O’Shea blocked his effort. The ball then fell into the path of Robbie Walsh but he shot wide as a number of Ferrybank defenders ran at him.
A couple of goalmouth scrambles followed in the Ferrybank penalty area. Simone Valefeoire saved from Colm Murphy on 54 minutes and on 64 minutes Timmy Ryan shot over following good work by Robbie Walsh and Colm Murphy.
Pat McNamara took the ball off Ivan Tobin at the other end after 76 minutes but he shot wide with only the Grannagh goalkeeper Peter Sutton to beat.
The only goal, the golden goal arrived on 81 minutes. Ivan Tobin fouled Andrew Keogh out on the left, just outside the penalty area. Alan O’Shea whipped in the free kick to the back post to Michael Penkert who headed the ball down to Ger Flynn. His effort was blocked by John Barron but when the ball fell into the path of Stephen Westwood the super sub rammed the ball low to the net from 6 yards.
Grannagh tried to fight back and grab an equaliser but the Ferrybank defence were never put under any real danger and a night of celebrations followed shortly afterwards across Rice Bridge.
Ferrybank: Simone Valefeoire, Peter O’Byrne, Mick Dunphy, Conor Hayden, Alan O’Shea, Michael Penkert, Ger Flynn, Andrew Keogh, John Treacy, Colm O’Neill, Pat McNamara. Subs: Gary Coady for Hayden (H-T), Stephen Westwood for Treacy for (75 mins). Not used: Barry Fitzpatrick, Peter Cunningham, Donal McCormack, Cormac O’Meara.
Grannagh United: Peter Sutton, Ivan Tobin, Robbie Kelly, John Barron, John Kelly, Ian Walsh, Paddy Dalton, John Purcell, Timmy Ryan, Robbie Walsh, Colm Murphy. Subs: Karl Conway for Robbie Walsh (67 mins), Willie Walsh for Ian Walsh (88 mins), Neville Synott for Barron (88 mins). Not used: Paddy Byrne, Gavin Grant, Bryan Kirwan, Gavin Power.
Ref: John Purcell.