Tuesday 12 December 2017

Sheriff YC secure their fourth FAI Junior Cup crown in six years

SHERIFF YC 2 EVERGREEN 0

Secretary of Sheriff FC, Brian Dunleavy lifts the cup as the players celebrate after winning the FAI Junior Cup Final in association with Aviva and Umbro between Sheriff FC and Evergreen FC at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Secretary of Sheriff FC, Brian Dunleavy lifts the cup as the players celebrate after winning the FAI Junior Cup Final in association with Aviva and Umbro between Sheriff FC and Evergreen FC at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

John Fallon

SHERIFF YC lifted their fourth Aviva/Umbro sponsored FAI Junior Cup in six years as a goal in each half earned them victory against Evergreen in Saturday’s final at the Aviva Stadium.

At the end of a first half they dominated, the holders forged ahead through Stephen Murphy’s free-kick and despite the Kilkenny side mounting a comeback after the break, another of the four Murphy brothers, Paul, sealed the triumph with a second goal.

It looked to be a frustrating afternoon for the Dublin side when their constant pressure failed to deliver the breakthrough until the final moments of the half.

When John Rock had been denied from close-range by a superb Packie Holden save, the ball broke and Evergreen conceded a free on the edge of their box. Up stepped Stephen Murphy to curl his low shot around the wall and past Holden despite the goalkeeper getting a hand on the effort.

By that stage, Sheriff had missed a litany of chances mainly through Sean and Stephen Murphy but Evergreen, contesting their first final since 1984, enjoyed their moments too.

A surge by Mikey Drennan to the end-line on the half hour resulted in a left-wing cross which Daryl Walshe was prevented from getting a touch to by the advancing Lee Murphy

The Sheriff goalkeeper was also at his best in batting away a thunderous shot from Chris Whearty after the winger cut in from the left.

Still, once Sheriff edged into the lead they held control. Apart from Whearty’s shot with 20 minutes left which flew over the crossbar and another effort late on by substitute Lee Delaney, Evergreen couldn’t convert their superiority of possession into clearcut chances.

As they gambled in pursuit of an equaliser late on, gaps appeared at the back and the clinical Sheriff profited. Darren Dunne teed up the overlapping Paul Murphy with a superb pass and the rampaging right-back beat Holden with a crisp shot.

SHERIFF YC: L Murphy; P Murphy, A Kavanagh, G McDermott (J Flood 70), J O'Neill; Stephen Murphy (J Murphy 90), J Lester, M Higgins (T Dunne 87), D Dunne, Sean Murphy; J Rock.

EVERGREEN: P Holden; T Earls (Corr 90), N Andrews, D Whearty (S Johntson), R Quane (D McQuillan 70), D Walshe, D Barcoe, B Jordan (L Delaney 59), C Whearty (J Owens 84); M Drennan, C English.

Referee: P Kilcoyne

Attendance: 3,500.

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