Sunday 20 January 2019

Ardmore claim the inaugural Gaelic Plant Hire Cup

Soccer: Gaelic Plant Hire cup final - Ardmore Rovers 0 Enniskerry YC 0 (Rovers win 4-2 on pens)

Ardmore Rovers, winners of the Gaelic Plant Hire Cup after victory over Enniskerry.
Ardmore Rovers, winners of the Gaelic Plant Hire Cup after victory over Enniskerry.
Ardmore’s Shane McDermott clashes with Enniskerry’s Ross Griffin

Daniel Gorman

Ardmore Rovers claimed the inaugral Gaelic Plant Hire Cup courtesy of a penalty shoot-out following a drab meeting with hosts Enniskerry.

Neither side could - nor looked capable of - breaking the deadlock but Rovers proved deadly from 12 yards as they swept home all four penalties. Enniskerry missed one, while Corey Bishop saved another of the home side's efforts.

Right-back Evan Brack had the honour of sticking away the decisive effort to ensure that his side were the first ever Gaelic Plant Hire Cup champions.

Despite it being a friendly tournament, there was a bit of bite to the contest on Saturday evening but it also suffered the pre-season sloppiness with both sides struggling to find any kind of rhythm.

Enniskerry topped a group featuring Glencormac United, TEK United and Knocklyon United and they threatened first when an attacker was played in and his effort struck the goalkeeper before rebounding goalwards and it trickled narrowly wide.

For Ardmore Rovers, they had to conquer Greystones United, Ashford Rovers and Bray AFC to earn the right to contest Saturday's showdown and Jake O'Brien, son of Ardmore manager and Bray Wanderers legend Kieran 'Tarzan' O'Brien, registered his side's first meaningful shot as he tamed a chipped cross from the left before getting a shot away but Graham Mooney caught it with minimum fuss.

Home midfielder Ross Griffin intercepted a loose pass in the centre circle before driving forward with the ball. With things opening up in front of him, he tried his luck but it was deflected behind for a corner kick.

A sweetly-struck volley from Shane McDermott sent the ball flying towards Mooney's goal but the shot-stopper showed very safe hands in wet conditions as he gathered it between his palms.

Ardmore perhaps should have had a penalty in the 65th minute when Enniskerry right-back nudged his man in the back as they contested a high ball. It would have been a free outside the box.

A cross from Graham McCormack found Karl O'Rourke in the penalty area and he took a touch before shotting but he'll never know if he had the beating of the goalkeeper as Enniskerry defender Dean Mooney made a fine clearing header.

Graham Mooney was recalled to action shortly afterwards though when a cross from the right was nodded away and smashed back in by Sean Cleary but he was denied by a flying save from the home custodian.

The hosts could have stolen a victory late on when substitue Luke O'Sullivan pushed the ball past his man.

Despite a defender's attempts to foul him, the winger hared onto it again and swung a cross in from the left. Paul O'Reilly took on the strike but he mishit it and it failed to hit the target.

O'Reilly's next involvement would also be one that he'll want to forget. With the shoot-out tied at 1-1 following successes from Darren Forsyth and Cleary, O'Reilly stepped and blasted his spot-kick into orbit. Barry Kinsella ramped up the pressure on Enniskerry as he made it 1-2 and Bishop put his side in pole position when he brilliantly repelled Brandon Cowan's effort. Bishop had began to dive right but saw Cowan's shot going down the middle and he stuck out a left leg to deflect it over.

Karl Mulligan squeezed his penalty into the corner to keep Enniskerry in it but efforts from Jake O'Brien and then Evan Brack meant that the Gaelic Plant Hire Cup would spent its first year of existance in Bray.

Enniskerry YC: 1. Graham Mooney; 2. Robert Plunkett, 4. Shane Fitzpatrick, 5. Dean Mooney, 3. Alan Acres; 7. Brandon Feely, 6. Neil McCaul, 8. Ross Griffin, 11. Gordon Bradley; 9. Darren Forsyth, 10. Karl Mulligan. Subs: Luke O'Sullivan for Bradley (H/T); Billy Piggott for Feely (H/T); Paul O'Reilly for McCaul (70); Brandon Cowan for Plunkett (81).

Ardmore Rovers: 1. Corey Bishop; 2. Evan Brack, 4. Trevor Conroy, 5. Craig Fitzgerald, 3. Barry Kinsella; 7. Karl O'Rourke, 6. Shane McDermott, 8. Graham McCormack, 11. Jake O'Brien; 9. Sean Cleary, 10. David Carroll. Subs: Stephen McCann for Carroll (61); Graham Doyle for McDermott (77).

Referee: Michael Kennedy.

Venue: Berryfield, Enniskerry.

Wicklow People