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top marksman dessie delivers WICKLOW TOWN B.........................1

NEWTOWN UNITEd......................3

A year is a long time in football. And for the second Wicklow Cup final in a row, refereeing decisions were to the fore.

But unlike 2012, Newtown picked up the trophy and benefitted from a moment of madness.

The game was a repeat of last year's decider when the now defunct Wicklow Town A defeated United in a controversial affair.

With Sunday's match at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray seemingly heading for extra-time, Newtown 'keeper Paul O'Riordan launched a wind-aided kick in the 80th minute.

After bouncing, Wicklow defender Tony Doyle headed back to his custodian Ian Corkish who was under pressure from the challenging John Heffernan.

No whistle came. Corkish reacted and headbutted the United player. Referee Michael Kennedy gave a red card and awarded a penalty.

Heffernan dusted himself down to convert the spot-kick past stand-in 'keeper David O'Connor for his seventh goal this season.

Before the tip-off could even take place, the 'Town were down to nine men as Leonard Carton continued his protests that a foul should have been given on Corkish.

And Kennedy dismissed the central defender for dissent.

The contest was three minutes into stoppage time when Newtown sealed the blue riband in the Garden County for the third time in four years.

Jason Collins' long left wing throw found Dean Odlum. He passed to John Heffernan who squared to the unmarked Dessie Waters to register his 23rd goal of the season.

Having just been promoted to the Premier Division, the 'Town chose to start Eric Conlon at right back to combat the threat of Waters on the left wing, and drafted in Richard Murphy to bolster their central midfield.

That's were Ross Odlum came in to replace the not match-fit Shane Mooney for the Magpies.

United also had to make a change in the goalkeeper position with Richard Franey injured.

That saw Paul O'Riordan take over between the sticks. And he conceded first after 10 minutes.

Shane Dunne tried his luck from 30 yards with O'Riordan only parrying. And Eddie Kelly nipped in to score with a close rage finish.

But the recently crowned top-flight champions equalised on 33.

A Wicklow clearance was pumped back into the danger zone by Billy Clarkson. Waters controlled and smashed a right-footed half volley to the far corner of the net.

Wicklow Town B: Ian Corkish; Eric Conlon, Leonard Carton, Jonathan Byrne, Tony Doyle; Cathal Doyle, Shane Dunne, Richard Murphy, David O'Connor; Mikey Dunne; Eddie Kelly. Subs: Brendan Cox (for Kelly 84 mins), Jason Murphy, Richard O'Shea, Conor Dickenson, Bobby Quinn (all not used).

Newtown United A: Paul O'Riordan; Martin Melia, PJ Dowling, Billy Clarkson, Jason Collins; Cathal McNicholas; John Heffernan, Ross Odlum; Mark Fitzsimons, Dean Odlum, Dessie Waters. Subs: Shane Mooney (for Fitzsimons 64 mins), Sean Heffernan (for Ross Odlum 79 mins), Colin Odlum (for Melia 86 mins), Jamie McDonald, Oisin Greenan, Richard Franey (all not used).

Referee: Michael Kennedy.


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