Casey Division 2 Cup Semi Final.
Newbridge Rovers FC 3 Coill Dubh AFC 5
Newly crowned Division 2 League Champions Coill Dubh AFC booked their place in the Casey Division 2 Cup final on Sunday when they overcame newbies Newbridge Rovers FC in the very entertaining semi final tie at Chapel Lane Newbridge. The match got the green light after a pitch inspection despite the heavy underfoot conditions. It was clear from the start that this would be a gruelling battle of attrition and the eventual winners Coill Dubh settled well in the early exchanges.
The first real chance of the game fell to Coill Dubh's Wes Heavey, whose volley on the turn rattled against the crossbar as seen many times this season. Tim Barrett was quick to follow up with a powerful volley that found the back of the net after just eight minutes. Things were looking promising for Coill Dubh until a twentieth minute period where Rovers struck back with three goals – two from open play and the third from a penalty spot. It's worth noting that togetherness and a never say die attitude is the hallmark of this Coill Dubh team.
Rovers' troubles began when their center-half was shown a red card in the thirty fifth minute after receiving two yellow cards. Coill Dubh seized the opportunity and four minutes later a fine effort was parried away by the Rovers' keeper, only for Emmet O'Donoghue to react first and make it 3-2 as half-time approached.
The second half saw Coill Dubh up the tempo searching for the equalizer. In the fiftieth minute, the Dubh's were awarded a penalty after a foul on Kian Butler. Damien Leeson stepped up to convert it, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. Coill Dubh continued to press forward in search of a winner, and they found it when Graham Sullivan pushed forward and capitalized on a loose ball in Rovers' box, putting them ahead. In the sixty fifth minute, Rovers were reduced to nine men, and Kian Butler, who had a fine game, sealed the victory for the Dubhs with their fifth goal. The strong traveling away support erupted with delight at the result.
There were several standout performances in this match, including Phillip Doyle solid performance in goal, Tim Barrett and Mark Heffernan's contributions as well as Damien Leeson and Shane Bowers' efforts. Wes Heavey was also a constant threat. However, the star of the day was undoubtedly Graham Sullivan, who was outstanding throughout the game.