Karina Donnelly Senior Cup Final
Rathangan AFC 3 Clane United AFC 3
(Clane United Win 4-1 on penalties AET)
Clane United captured the Karina Donnelly Senior Cup title on Sunday for the first time in the Club’s history when they overcame Senior League contenders Rathangan AFC on penalties following the game being deadlocked at 3-3 after 110 minutes of football, in front of a large crowd at the pristine home of Allenwood Celtic at Killina road.
The eventual winners started brightly and Eoghan Maguire shot just over shortly after the tip off following some good approach work by Sean Hartnett. They took the lead after three minutes when the impressive Hartnett capitalised on a rare Rathagan defensive error to put the North Kildare side ahead.
Rathangan were quick to react to the early set back and drew level just four minutes later with a Lee Moore Strike to make it 1-1. It was end to end at this stage as both sides look to take the edge. Clane United were always dangerous on the attack and it wasn’t long before they edged ahead for the second time as on ten minutes Jack Kelly make it 2-1 following a pin point cross from the hard working Kieran Kelly. Rathangan pressurised Clane for an equaliser but could find no way past a resolute Clane defence at Clane went in marginally ahead at the break.
Clane started the second half as the first and were dominate from the tip off. The leaders went 3-1 ahead after sixty five minutes. However disaster struck for Clane as they were reduced to ten men following two dismissals. Rathangan now with the numerical advantage close the gap to just one goal with fifteen minutes through Joe Breen and just two minutes later made it 3-3 through a wonder strike from Arun Doyle to bring the game to extra time. The twenty minutes was a cagey affair as it unfolded and both sides seem to have settled for the penalty shootout.
Clane custodian John Ball was the hero of the day as he saved two of Rathangan’s penalties to see Clane lift the trophy for the first time. The trophy was presented by Sponsor Robbie Donnelly. Best for the winners were Stephen Dunne, Eoghan Maguire and Sean Hartnett.