Rathgormack 5; Tycor 0
The curse of the “double chasers” struck once again in Ozier Park last week. In recent weeks, clubs chasing the double in Division 4, the Youth League and Division 2 have fallen short of their intended aim and Tycor, recently crowned champions of Division 3, fell into that category here.
The three clubs in the above grades, namely, St Pauls, Waterford Crystal and Park Rangers at least made it to the final, but Tycor fell at the semi-final stage and they can have no complaints because Rathgormack were by far the best team on the night.
During the course of the league campaign the clubs played out two draws, but that was never going to be the outcome on this occasion. Rathgormack were full of running from the outset and it has to be said they were every bit as strong when the full-time whistle was blown.
The main talking point was a stunning goal scored by Paidi Whelan. This player has a habit of scoring great goals in Ozier Park and no doubt he will be trying to get in on the act once again this evening (Wednesday) in the final.
Tycor goalkeeper John Galgey saved a low shot from Michael Halpin after five minutes. Galgey had to charge from his line seven minutes later to kick clear from Jason Murray who was played in by James Kirwan.
Rathgormack did eventually take the lead on 33 minutes. Jason Murray won the ball in the middle of the park before playing it forward to Paidi Whelan who delightfully lobbed the ball over the ‘keeper from 20 yards.
Rathgormack were really rocking at this stage and John Galgey had to be at his best three minutes after the goal when he got down well to save an angled effort from Jamie Kirwan.
Jason Murray was unlucky to see a shot from outside the penalty area come crashing back off the Tycor crossbar after 43 minutes. The only real chance Tycor had in the first half was a header by Pat Kelly but his effort went wide.
Rathgormack carried on where they left off when the second period got underway. John Galgey was forced to tip a free kick from Paidi Whelan over his crossbar on 46 minutes, but Whelan’s wonder goal arrived on 51 minutes.
He took a pass from Michael Halpin out on the left side and advanced 20 yards with the ball before unleashing a beautifully-struck shot on the run from 25 yards into the roof of the net. Superb!
The roof fell in completely on the league winners after 63 minutes. Jamie Kiewan got in a strong low cross from the left and the unfortunate Brendan O’Shea had the misfortune to slice the ball into his own net while trying to clear.
Shane Gough was the next Rathgormack player to make John Galgey work with a free kick on 68 minutes. Gough had suffered a bad injury after half an hour but he carried on bravely with a heavily-bandaged head.
Michael Halpin got on the scoresheet on 69 minutes, hooking the ball into the net following good work by Paidi Whelan. Jason Murray added to Rathgormack’s tally in the 79th minute with a crisp low shot from 20 yards. If they can repeat this performance in the final the Comeragh club will take a lot of beating.
Rathgormack: Brendan Crotty, John Kirwan, Kenny Hassett, Shane Gough, Pat Fahey, Mervyn Cummins, Paidi Whelan, Kevin Power, Jason Murray, Michael Halpin, Jamie Kirwan. Subs: Daniel Drohan for Cummins (73 mins), Donal Larkin for Jamie Kirwan (73), Paul Power for Kevin Power (81).
Tycor: John Galgey, Mark O’Sullivan, Brendan O’Shea, Anthony Dunphy, Darren Ryan, Damien Kelly, Pat Kelly, Eddie Kelly, Lee Kelly, Clint Power, Karl Grant. Subs. Ken Ryan for Dunphy (32 mins), Trevor Ryan for Eddie Kelly (58), Tommy Aldridge for Pat Kelly (61).
Referee: Jim Keely.