Monday 19 March 2018

Six of the best for Quay

Soccer Clancy Cup Final: Quay Celtic 6 Fane FC 3

Fane threatened to cap their giant-killing deeds in the Jimmy Clancy Cup decider at Clancy Park on Sunday evening when they twice took the lead in the opening 26 minutes - but the favourites each time swiftly gained parity and three goals in a four-minute spell before the break all but sealed Quay's fifth success in the competition.

Quay were favourites after knocking out the holders Muirhevnamor who are once again on course to lift the Dundalk Summer League title, but they fell behind after only four minutes.

And while it took them only two minutes to gain parity, Fane, making their first appearance in this or any senior final, went back in front after 26 minutes.

Seven minutes after that, though, it was level pegging once more and then that wretched spell ruined Fane's chances of a fairytale victory as their defence suddenly fell asunder.

Woicheck Gladyz, with the deftest of lobs, put the surprise packets ahead when the ball dropped to him following a corner kick in a crowded penalty box and he showed great composure and awareness to find the net from ten yards.

Robert Reid, the game's master puppeteer, bubbling with invention with his sharp thrusting runs and probing passing from midfield, equalised with a powerfully struck low drive into the corner of the net from outside the 18 yard line.

Fane regained the lead when Sean Bailey's high, arching free kick which he earned himself flew into the far top corner of the net from wide on the left, beyond the fully stretched hand of the groping Kevin Mullen.

Reid and Shaun O'Connor, who was another real menace with his driving runs down the right, were involved in a sweeping move that split open the Fane defence down that side and striker Que Olula did well to squeeze the ball back from the endline for Sean Matthews to place his shot low inside the post with over a half an hour gone.

Fane's defence had a number of escapes, with a point-blank save by Kyle Murphy denying Ian Devine right in front of goal.

The same player was thwarted by a great double block in turn by Alan Lennon and goalkeeper Murphy, and then he pushed wide at the back post a pinpoint low cross by Sean Matthews, with an open goal in front of him.

However, the striker capitalised on a double lapse in concentration by Fane's defence in the closing six minutes of the half to turn the tie irretrievably Quay's way.

Slack marking in the centre of the Fane defence allowed Devine to collect a pass from O'Connor and he linked up with his partner Olula to enter the box and put his side ahead.

Rocked by this setback, the Fane defence floundered once again as Devine skipped past a lunging tackle by one defender as he raced onto Brian Mc Closkey's long pass down the middle, and beat another and from inside the box scored his second goal to open a two goal lead for his team.

Two minutes later Olula pounced on another lapse to seize possession and sped all alone into the box and further increased Quay's advantage two minutes from the break.

Having played against the wind Quay had both hands virtually on the trophy that they last captured in 2002, but Fane gamely pressed them back and went close to reducing the deficit on a number of occasions before substitute Bernard Osborne put the outcome beyond doubt with just under 20 minutes left.

A swift three-man move through the middle saw Devine push the ball into his path as Osborne broke free from the left into the box and opened his body to curl his shot into the far corner of the net.

Justice was done when Gladyz ensured that Fane gained parity in the second half when a curling free-kick over the wall from outside the box beat a flat-footed Mullen with just over ten minutes left on the clock.

Fane: Kyle Murphy, Alan Lennon, Gavin Lennon, Sean Kellegher(Peter Begley), Dylan Thornton (Chad McEneaney), Gerard Collins (Ciaran Finan), Woicheck Gladyz, Shane O'Callaghan (Jamie Cronin), Stephen Begley (Brendan McKevitt), Gavin Gaffey, Sean Bailey.

Quay: Kevin Mullen, Brian McCloskey, Gavin Toner, Jimmy Byrne, Shaun O'Connor, Johnny Winters (Paddy Reilly), Paddy Connor (Vinny Smith) Cormac Reid, Que Olula (Mario Kolak), Ian Devine (Shane McKenna), Sean Matthews (Bernard Osborne).

The Argus