Straffan AFC 1 Athy TownA Fc 1
(Athy Town win 4-3 on penalties AET)
Athy Town AFC claimed the Georgina Donnelly Premier Cup Trophy for the first time in the Club’s 78 year history on Sunday when they overcame fellow League contenders Straffan AFC in a dramatic penalty shootout. At a blustery and often very wet Clane United’s new all weather facility saw the Athy custodian, Conor Germaine come out as the hero for the boys in red.
In a game which, in fairness, saw both defences dominate for the 110 minutes, chances were at a premium on a very very tight pitch, the conditions also made good passing football near impossible.
After only four minutes Straffan striker Philly Connolly was fouled a about ten yards outside the Athy penalty area and John Tracey sent an unstoppable shot to the Athy net low to keeper Germaine’s left to put Straffan one up, a slight deflection aiding the ball home. With fifteen minutes gone after nice build up play Connolly put Treacy through but a brilliant last ditch tackle from the Athy defender kept the score one nil. Midway through the half Straffan lost influential midfielder Evan Treacy through injury. This loss was further compounded when Captain Kevin Fox also had to retire through injury.
At the turnaround, Athy again were doing most of the attacking as the Staffan attack were living off scraps, Athy's goal came in the fiftieth minute when a rare goalkeeping error by Matt Duggan in the Straffan goal led to a simple tap in for Athy's Stephen May to draw the sides level.
Straffan slightly unravelled after that with a flurry of yellow cards which saw two player being shown the dressing room.
The two sending offs had a galvanising effect on Straffan who, in fairness, defended with a grit and determination limiting athy to a few half chances.
In extra time Athy dominated possession but remarkably it was Straffan who came closest to scoring when Shane McNamaras long distance free kick deceived the Athy keeper striking the underside of the cross bar and rebounding to safety. With 4 minutes to go Straffans Connolly was through the Athy defence but was taken down by the Athy defender and a straight red card ment Athy were down to ten men for the remainder of the game. So the dreaded penalty shoot out !!! Athy coming out winners thanks to goalkeeping hero Conor Germaine. Man of the match was Athy Town’s Mick Walsh.