23 Oct Ace Sports Awards Masters Cup Final Newbridge Town AFC 2 3 Leixlip United FC
Feature game – Leinster Leader
Leixlip United FC retained the Ace Sports Awards Masters Cup when they came out on top in this five goal thriller against Newbridge Town AFC played a Maynooth Town AFC on Saturday.
Leixlip got off to a dream start when Glenn McCann scored after only thirty eight seconds. John Brennan set Colm McManus free down the right wing before McManus played a delightful pass to McCann who had timed his run into the box to perfection. McCann made no mistake slotting home with his right foot to put the north Kildare side 1-0 up. After a bright opening Leixlip United stopped playing football and Newbridge Town began to enjoy more possession yet still United could have extended their lead. Just before halftime Newbridge Town equalised. After play broke down on Leixlip’s left wing Newbridge broke quickly and an excellent diagonal ball set the ‘Town striker free who after getting past Stephen Ellis, rounded the Leixlip Utd keeper Terry Cassidy and his cross come shot came off the shin of Leixlip defender McAuley before hitting the crossbar and bouncing over the line to send the sides in even steven at the break.
On the resumption Leixlip United manager Kevin Mooney introduced James Nugent for John Brennan and Ronan Brophy for Darragh Kineavy both of whom had ran themselves into the ground in the opening period. The fresh legs added some impetus to United’s attack and McCann got his second goal, again finishing with his right boot to the keepers left. Shortly afterwards Nugent missed a glorious chance to put United 3-1 up when having cut in from the left past two defenders he put the ball wide of the right post with the goal at his mercy.
Shortly afterwards Newbridge were reduced to ten men when their striker was shown red by the referee for reacting to a firm fair challenge by McCann. With the man and goal advantage Leixlip controlled the game and got the third goal they deserved due to a rather large slice of luck. Ten minutes before the end, as the Town keeper went to complete a simple clearance the ball bobbled as he swung his leg resulting in him slicing it behind himself. The pacy alert Nugent raced past him and tapped into an empty net. To Newbridge’s credit they kept going and got their second goal with five minutes to remaining to give the Newbridge men some hope of clawing themselves back. Utd keeper Cassidy watched helplessly as his clearance hit the ‘Town’s centre forward and looped over him. The centre forward beat Cassidy to the ricochet and headed into the empty net.
As Newbridge pushed for an equaliser to force a penalty shootout they had their captain sent off for bringing Brophy down when racing through on goal. Despite the two man disadvantage Newbridge kept going forward. Leixlip exploited the space and almost killed the game as Graham Kiersey fizzed a shot just wide and John Sweeney side footed wide at the back post from an excellent right wing Brophy cross. The game finished 3-2 to Leixlip United FC claiming the trophy for the second year in succession.