Park are premier champs


IT took two games, but The Park were eventually crowned Denny Premier A Champions for the 2011/2012 season.

They looked to have the title wrapped up in their first game with Castleisland, but for a 94th minute penalty dispatched to the net by Pa O'Rourke, who surely never had to take a penalty under such high pressure stakes before. The penalty was awarded by referee Adrain Grimes for a handball by Con Barrett. It seemed a harsh decision as a corner seemed the most likely outcome when a Pa O'Rourke cross struck him in the hand and was deflected out.

The Park had made the breakthrough on the 83rd minute when Pa McCarthy finished with aplomb having been set up by Stephen O'Sullivan.

A week later and the emotions were all so very different for both sides. Castleisland's elation at forcing that late equaliser was gone and Park's disappointment at seeing the title slip through their fingers was replaced by sheer joy. Yet again it was a tense tight affair and yet again it was decided from the penalty spot. This time the teams went through 120 minutes of tense action before the game finally petered out to be decided by penalties. The Park proved far more capable from the spot and won out 4-2 winners.

After the match Park boss Tommy Naughton fought back the tears and told The Kerryman of his pride at his charges' success.

"We had the big disappointment last year when we lost to Killarney Celtic, but this makes up for all of that and I am very proud of all my players. They gave great commitment during th eyear and got the reward they deserved at the end."

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