Sunday 21 January 2018

Charlie Bishop Cup has the makings of a real cracker

IF ROUND ONE is anything to go by, we are in for one hell of a Charlie Bishop Cup this season.

The main event took place at Shamrock Park on Friday as Premier Division heavyweights Rathnew AFC and Newtown United clashed and they did not disappoint.

United and the Charlie Bishop Cup final have gone hand-in-hand in recent seasons but their love affair with the divisional elite competition could be set to come to an end after a penalty shoot-out defeat riddled with controversy saw them bow out.

The Magpies took the lead late in the first half of normal through Ross Odlum and Dessie Waters before the hosts pulled one back midway through the second period.

Mark Fitzsimons then restored the visitors' two-goal lead and it looked as though Newtown's name would be in the hat for the second round as the end of normal time came and went but then Rathnew somehow managed two goals in injury time to force an extra 20 minutes.

The first period of extra time came and went and no more goals were produced but then minutes after the interval Dean Odlum joined his brother on the scoresheet as he nudged his side ahead.

There was still more left in this script though as Rathnew left the away side reeling with an equaliser that drew comparisons with Diego Maradonna's 'Hand of God' goal.

And then just to add insult to injury from Newtown's perspective, the Villagers kept their cool to claim a 4-3 victory in the shoot-out.

Top flight duo Arklow Town A and Ashford Rovers shall be joining Rathnew at the next stage. Premier Division champions Arklow Town had Saints FC A, current leaders of Division 2, to contend with but the Arklow side blitzed the Wexford club 9-0 at the Bridgewater Centre Park.

Gavin Doyle notched a hat-trick, John Fennell and Willie Kavanagh landed braces and Gearoid Redmond and Domhnall O'Keefe netted singles as their side obliterated the Saints.

Ashford Rovers had the task

of ensuring that only one Rathnew side would progress and they did so; edging past Rathnew AFC B of Division 1 by three goals to two.

Rovers lead 2-0 at one stage and had to survive a fight-back but did so to secure the win thanks to strikes from Dean Doyle (2) and Danny Byrne.

We were treated to an upset this weekend, albeit one contained within Division 3 as winless Wicklow Town B sprang a surprise on third placed Fairwood Celtic at Dunne's Field.

Niall Manning and Eddie Kelly bagged the visitors' efforts to land them their first success of the season.

Richard Walsh fired the Fairwood effort before later having to taken away in an ambulance with a dislocated hip. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

And finally, it was an all-Division 1 affair in Drummin as Celtic Stars dished out a spanking to St. Fergal's AFC A.

More information on that result can be found in this edition of the Bray/Wicklow People.

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