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A sweet success for Wicklow Rovers in Charlie Bishop Cup final

Substitute grabs late goal to win it for Wicklow Rovers

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Charlie Bishop Cup winners, Wicklow Rovers.

Charlie Bishop Cup winners, Wicklow Rovers.

Beaten finalists, St Peter's.

Beaten finalists, St Peter's.

Andy Bishop, Wicklow Rovers captain Brian Harrington and Liam Kilbride.

Andy Bishop, Wicklow Rovers captain Brian Harrington and Liam Kilbride.

Karl Earls of Wicklow Rovers is tracked by Tony Harris of St Peter's.

Karl Earls of Wicklow Rovers is tracked by Tony Harris of St Peter's.

Darren McAteer of St Peter's tries to get away from Killiane Devine of Wicklow Rovers.

Darren McAteer of St Peter's tries to get away from Killiane Devine of Wicklow Rovers.

John Shea of the Wicklow League presents the man of the match award to Dean Noble of Wicklow Rovers.

John Shea of the Wicklow League presents the man of the match award to Dean Noble of Wicklow Rovers.

Wicklow Rovers celebrate after scoring a late winning goal.

Wicklow Rovers celebrate after scoring a late winning goal.

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Charlie Bishop Cup winners, Wicklow Rovers.

wicklowpeople

Wicklow Rovers 2

St Peter’s 1

Super substitute Rian Sweetman’s last-minute goal clinched the Charlie Bishop Cup for Wicklow Rovers against Premier Division league winners St Peter’s at Travers Insurance Park on Sunday afternoon.
While the Whitegates crew took the lead when Jack Fox snuck his effort into the bottom corner of the Peter’s net after 42 minutes, a sweetly-struck Jamie Kelly free pulled the sides level late on to leave this clash going right down to the wire.
However, the introduction of Sweetman would prove the decisive move on the day and would result in ten-man Rovers toppling the league champions in thrilling fashion.
It wasn’t the most entertaining start to a cup final with both sides trying to get a foothold in the early stages but ending up cancelling each other out.
St Peter’s had two great opportunities midway through the first half, a dangerous ball whipped into the back post to Rian Greene, but Greene’s header was too tame for Ian Murphy in the Rovers goal.
The second chance fell to Jamie Kelly who had a chance to snatch the opening goal, but his strike came onto his weaker foot and made for another good save from Murphy.
The game quickly turned in Peter’s favour on the half-hour mark when Wicklow Rovers central midfielder and captain Brian Harrington was shown a red card for a reckless challenge on Des Kelly. Kelly and Harrington went for a 50/50 ball, but Harrington raised his studs and caught Kelly giving referee David Jameson no option but to send the Rovers midfielder off.
A tough one to take for Wicklow Rovers who were starting to put some pressure on the Peter’s backline but now had to deal with playing the rest of the cup final with ten men.
On the stroke of half-time Rovers kept pushing and grabbed the opening goal, there was no ‘park the bus’ mentality from Rovers after going a man down and deservedly took the lead in the 42nd minute. A low strike outside the box from Jack Fox caught Peter’s ’keeper Niall Vaughan by surprise as the ball tucked into the bottom corner.
The second half continued much like the end of the first half as Rovers continued to dominate possession.
Youngster Mikey Merrigan was leading the line well for his side, his hold-up play and his ability to beat players with his pace gave some time for the rest of the team to get a breather.
Jack Fox had a golden opportunity to wrap up the final and bag his second goal in the 67th minute when he played through on goal with only the ’keeper to beat but somehow managed to blast his shot over the bar. A chance that may come back to haunt the Wicklow Rovers attacker.
Peter’s were at desperation stage, long balls over the top, long effort strikes on goal, but it was a set-piece that got them back into the game.
Jamie Kelly was taken down on the edge of the penalty area, Rovers set up their five-man wall for the resulting free-kick, but Kelly was too clever and placed the ball low into the bottom corner as the Rovers players in the wall jumped expecting Kelly to go high with his strike. Game back on at Travers Insurance Park!
A heartbreaking goal to concede late in the half but this Rovers side don’t know when they are beaten.
Rian Sweetman was introduced in the 82nd minute and it proved to be a master stroke from the Rovers management team.
Sweetman got straight into the action and was trying to put the St Peter’s defence under pressure, but his moment came in the 89th minute.
A ball across the edge of the box was taken by Sweetman and he took on two Peter’s defenders before firing a low shot that creeped into the bottom corner. Sweetman wheeled away and whipped off his top, what a moment for Wicklow Rovers.
In the final minute of the Charlie Bishop Cup final, down to ten men but pulled off a win that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
After the final whistle skipper Brian Harrington gave his thoughts on the cup final and spoke about how proud he was of his teammates after he was sent off.
“I was heartbroken when I was sent off, but big credit to Peter’s they are the league champions and never give you anything easy. Every team goes through injuries, but we’ve had terrible bad luck with injuries of late, but the younger players have stepped up and done so well.
“I couldn’t have asked more of these young players, some people have said they are too soft, haven’t got enough heart and they don’t dig in.
“Well, when I went off today every one of them gave absolutely everything they had and I’m so proud of these boys.”
This young Wicklow Rovers side will have learned a lot from this season and will no doubt be hungry for more silverware next season.
Wicklow Rovers: 1. Ian Murphy, 2. Simon Phillips, 3. Killian Devine, 4. Andy Earls, 5. Karl Earls, 6. Brian Harrington, 7. Mike Merrigan, 8. Dean Noble, 9. James Lang, 10. Alan Power, 11. Jack Fox. Subs: Chris French for M Merrigan (67), Rian Sweetman for J Lang (82).
St Peters: 1. Niall Vaughan, 2. Dan Kelly, 3. Daniel McCann, 4. Tony Harris, 5. Des Kelly, 6. Jamie Kelly, 7. Darren McAteer, 8. Killian O’Carroll, 9. Rian Greene, 10. Darren Lacey, 11. Luke Martin. Subs: Jake Kane for L Martin (65), Mark O’Sullivan for D Lacey (70).
Referee: David Jameson.
 

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