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'brack streets ahead



Ballybrack Boys clinched the Cullen Cup on Friday night as they netted three goals in injury-time at the back end of an extraordinary final at sun-kissed Jackson Park.

The 'Brack were leading by a Josh Quinlivan penalty going into time added on, yet still managed to net a trio of goals in the 16 minutes of injury-time to deny St Pats CY a league and cup double.

The extra minutes were found after a delay when referee Tony Clarke retired due to injury in the second half.

Assistant referee Tony King replaced the experienced whistler, while Matt Burke, one of the league's top referees and a spectator at the game, ran the line for the rest of the game.

One of King's first duties was to award a penalty just after the hour when Brian Whelan sent Simon O'Brien tumbling inside the penalty area.

The Saints goalkeeper was unlucky not to redeem himself as he got a strong hand to Quinlivan's penalty, but the ball crept in as the 'Brack got rewarded for a bright start to the second half.

The Saints piled on the pressure in the closing stages as they looked to level the tie, but met an inspired Nathan Byrne between the posts for Ballybrack.

The netminder produced a string of top-notch saves in the last 10 minutes to keep Ed Saul's champions out as the Ringsend side turned up the heat.

Dylan Barnes escaped into the clear only for Byrne to block away with his feet.

Paul Mooney was also denied when the 'Brack netminder palmed away in another one-on-one situation. Byrne then saved from a powerful Robert Lacey header as he smothered the ball on the line.

As the Ringsend side pushed on in search of the equaliser, the 'Brack broke and netted their second goal seven minutes into injury-time.

A cracking Thomas Mahon shot cannoned off the crossbar and, as a weary Saints backline looked on, Derek Malton cashed in by thumping home the rebound by Whelan.

The game rumbled on. The Saints surged forward again but were caught in full flight as Ben Dalton strolled through a depleted defence to tap home into the empty net to make it three.

And still the game continued. With over an hour played in the second half Graham Mellor added the final touch, sweeping the ball by Whelan and into the bottom corner to send the large Ballybrack support into raptures.

BALLYBRACK: Nathan Byrne; Darren Clarke, Ciaran Mulligan, Josh Quinlivan, Stephen Metcalf, Mark Brennan, Thomas Mahon, Graham Mellor, Ross Donnelly, Simon O'Brien, Ben Dalton. Subs: Derek Malton (for Brennan h/t), Sam Ring (for Quinlivan 87 mins), Ciaran Mason (for Donnelly 90 mins), Bruce Blackmore, Anto Callaghan, Rob Donongh, Ben Dalton.

ST PATS CY: Brian Whelan; Ross Gaffney, Ian Nolan, Conor Simpson, Colin Miller, Allessio Facchini, Phillip Roche, Robert Lacey, Dylan Barnes, Paul Mooney, Ross Kemple. Subs: David Gray (for Facchini 65 mins), Derek Clayton (for Roche 70 mins), James Mooney (for Gaffney 78mins), Andy Doyle, Christopher Doolin, Tim Crowe, Gerard O'Neill.