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O'Brien nets wonder goal to clinch Cup for Avondale

A magnificent extra-time goal from Colin P O'Brien saw Avondale United claim victory at a windy Turners Cross yesterday.

John Cotter's side just about shaded proceedings in a poor game in which Paul Doyle's Cherry Orchard side battled throughout but never looked like scoring.

Avondale were hot favourites but they were missing one of their top players, Mark O'Sullivan, through suspension and player-manager Cotter.

In a scrappy opening, the blustery conditions made life difficult for both teams and O'Brien had the first chance 10 minutes in when he headed wide from a corner kick.

Cherry Orchard were dealt a major blow when they lost their captain Patrick McNevin through injury midway through the first half with Avondale well on top without troubling Keith Gallagher in the Orchard goal.

The Dublin side's best chance came following a swift counter-attack when Philip O'Connor put his strike partner Dennis Moran away but Moran shot just wide of Dave O'Keeffe's right-hand post.

Cherry Orchard, who last won the cup in 1998, started the second half the brighter and Ian McNeil tried his luck from long range but O'Keeffe was equal to it.

O'Brien was again denied on 75 minutes when Colm Daly got back to head his chip off the line.

When the 90 minutes failed to produce a goal, the game went to extra-time and four minutes in, former Cork City striker O'Brien produced a moment of magic.

He beat three defenders before smashing a right-footed effort low and hard to the bottom corner of Gallagher's net.

AVONDALE UNITED -- O'Keeffe, Kiernan, Horgan, Cahill, Triggs, Caulfield, Bruton (Cummins 62), Mulconroy, Lougheed, Spratt (Cronin 83), O'Brien (Doody 120).

CHERRY ORCHARD -- Gallagher, O'Sullivan, P McNevin (Roche 24), Notaro, Daly, McNeil, A McNevin, Curran, Crowther, O'Connor, Moran (Brennan 83).

Ref -- D Deady (Cork)

Irish Independent