Cup joy for St. Joseph’s
Gwyn Jones Cup final: St. Joseph's 'B' 4 Rosslare Strand 'B' 2
A strong second-half showing propelled St. Joseph's to a fully-deserved Gwyn Jones Cup success in Ferrycarrig Park on Sunday.
The Kilmuckridge side were rocked back on their heels by an early Pierce Doyle goal, but man of the match Kevin McCreary replied to leave it level at the break.
Joey's then turned the screw after the change of ends and goals from Dillon Kearns, Pa O'Brien and Callum O'Reilly put them in control. And although Michael Barry pulled one back for Port, they were able to keep them at arm's length thereafter.
Port, who finished bottom of Division 4A, went into the game as slight underdogs against the runners-up in the division, but they couldn't have asked for a better start.
Pierce Doyle fired them in front with less than five minutes on the clock, expertly steering a left-footed shot to the corner of the net after being found by Liam Delaney.
St. Joseph's responded well to the early setback, and Kevin McCreary sent Dillon Kearns away with a lovely pass in the eleventh minute, but goalkeeper Mick Walsh read the danger and was quickly off his line to gather.
At the other end Doyle had another sight of goal when he met a Ciarán Kehoe pass, but his effort drifted wide of the left upright.
They threatened again moments later when Kehoe headed on an Alan Walsh ball to send the pacy Liam Delaney on his way, but Ben Bunyan made the save, while on the half-hour mark Darren Dempsey went on a weaving run forward, but his shot lacked the power to trouble the netminder.
St. Joseph's gradually found more of a foothold in the game, with Pa O'Brien curling an effort wide from just outside the area in the 36th minute, before they made the breakthrough two minutes later.
O'Brien squared the ball to Kevin McCreary, and the midfielder swept the bar over the line off the underside of the bar.
Chances came at either end before the interval, with Delaney forcing a save out of the goalkeeper after an Alan Walsh free landed in his path, while Dillon Kearns fired wide.
St. Joseph's upped the ante after the break and got their noses in front just three minutes in when Brendan McCreary's corner fell to the feet of Kearns and he rifled the ball to the net.
It was 3-1 in the 59th minute when Jamie Warren nodded the ball down for Pa O'Brien, who applied a clinical finish.
However, in a bizarre turn of events, O'Brien's joy quickly turned to despair as he removed his shirt in celebration, earning him a second yellow card.
St. Joseph's refused to buckle after being reduced to ten men though, and after substitute Callum O'Reilly had seen his free-kick tipped around the post in the 68th minute, he was on hand seconds later to apply the finish to Kevin McCreary's corner.
They could have had a fifth seconds later when O'Reilly squared to fellow substitute Cormac Byrne, but he blazed a gilt-edged chance wide.
Port almost grabbed a lifeline with 15 minutes remaining when Adam Pitman rattled the crossbar from a Shane Murray corner, but they did pull a goal back moments later when Michael Barry finished to the net after Ciarán Kehoe's shot was blocked.
Barry was then dismissed for a last-man tackle in the 83rd minute, and St. Joseph's could coast to victory, almost adding to their tally late on when Callum O'Reilly cleverly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper but saw his shot drift agonisingly wide of the right post.
However, it mattered little as the final whistle sounded soon afterwards and the celebrations could begin.
St. Joseph's 'B': Ben Bunyan, Paul Weldon, Jamie Warren, Kieran McNulty, Michael McNulty, Peter Mitten, Kevin McCreary, Mikey Keane (capt.), Dillon Kearns, Brendan McCreary, Pa O'Brien. Subs. - Cormac Byrne for Keane (HT), Callum O'Reilly for B. McCreary (62), David Maleady for Kearns (79), Darragh Corrigan for K. McCreary (90+3), Oisín Tyrell for M. McNulty (90+3), also Gary O'Leary, Jason Robinson.
Rosslare Port 'B': Mick Walsh, Shane Murray (capt.), Michael Barry, John Paul Foley, Darren Dempsey, Pierce Doyle, Thomas Kelly, Alan Walsh, Liam Delaney, Ciarán Kehoe, Paddy Doyle. Subs. - Adam Pitman for Walsh (59), Stephen McGuire for Pierce Doyle (70), Harvey Ngnome for Delaney (86), also Dylan O'Connor, Jim Dwyer, Stephen Breen, Alan Dooley.
Referee: Pat Cashman. Assistant referees: Jimmy O'Neill and Ger Cleary. Fourth official: Stephen Burke.
New Ross Standard