Wednesday 17 July 2019

Rangers set sights high after triumph

Polikoff Cup Final: River Valley Rangers 2 CYM Beechwood 1

PJ Murray

River Valley Rangers' first season in the Leinster Senior League finished in the same way as their last in the AUL - with a trophy.

While they may not have won promotion this season, Declan Eiver's side secured their first ever Polikoff Cup on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 win against CYM Beechwood.

While Rangers came from behind to secure their maiden trophy win in the LSL, much of the credit has to go to Man of the Match and goalkeeper Yohann Bedos. The shot-stopper pulled off a series of saves in the second half as Rangers played with their backs against the wall.

Indeed, such is the esteem the keeper is held in, after the game he was voted Players' Player of the Year, a unanimous decision.

The game, played in Ballymun, saw both sides start in a cagey manner, but it was Beechwood who struck first on 10 minutes.

Rangers didn't panic, however, and five minutes later they drew level. Rurai Deasey played a fantastic cross-field pass to Darren Doyle and he cut in past the CYM full-back before flashing a shot across the keeper into the bottom corner.

By the 20-minute mark Rangers had turned the game on its head, taking the lead. Again on the left, Doyle clipped in a cross-cum-shot which came back off the underside of the crossbar and Paul Currivan was quickest to react to the rebound and smash the ball home.

James Rock flashed a shot just wide at the end of the first half, and had that gone in then that it have wrapped up the silverware there and then.

Nevertheless, Rangers took that slender lead into the break.

In their semi-final Beechwood were 2-0 down at the break and threw the kitchen sink to force their way into the final, so Rivervalley were well aware of the danger posed by their opponents.

However, their game management after the break was the real difference. They are a team well capable of playing football, but they showed a different side to themselves as they put their bodies on the line to defend their goal advantage.

Chances were few and far between for the Swords team, but Bedos made a series of fantastic saves to preserve his team's slender lead. Cole Enocks made a series of breakthroughs, but the second-half sub just couldn't find the back of the net.

The final whistle was greeted with scenes of unconfined joy as what has been a very up and down season for River Valley ended on a real high.

Manager Eivers was delighted with the win, and while tempered by his team's league performance he feels that this is the first step in a five-year plan to move through the LSL ranks.

'We didn't have a consistent season, but I think this shows we are a club who can challenge. River Valley as an area has some super footballers and we can be a real threat in the future,' he concluded.

Rivervalley: Yohann Bedos, Michael Farrell, David Gaul, Anthony Dowdall, Brendan Turley, Dominic Mahon, Ruairi Deasy, Conor Fowler, Paul Currivan, James Rock, Darren Doyle Subs: Paul Gavin, Lee Murray, Shane Brady, Cole Enocks, Paul Ryan, Gareth Dunne, Daire O'Connor.

Fingal Independent