This Cup final threw up the best football of the week as Castle Villa overcame League and Mud Leinster Champions Athy Town to win the PJ Wallace Cup in a pulsating final played in Tougher Park last Tuesday evening, writes Pat McNally.
PJ Wallace Cup Final
Castle Villa: 3
Athy Town: 2
Villa had the advantage of a great start as Kevin Mulpeter put them in front after thirty seconds when a shot from distance went in over the head of Darren Donnolly in the Athy goal.
Athy Town settled down and taking control of midfield began to put pressure on the Villa defence with Daragh Roycroft and Rory Feely to the fore.
Darren Donnolly saved Athy from another goal when he got down well at the near post to save a shot from Stefan Lawlor after 17 minutes deflecting the ball out for a fruitless corner.
Castle Villa scored a great goal following a run by Aaron Murphy which brought him from the half way line to pass to Eddie Hanlon who scored. The joy was short lived however as a lineman’s flag indicating a hand ball broke the Villa hearts.
Athy equalised after thirty five minutes when Kristof Jenei got in behind the Villa defence and pulled the ball back beautifully for Brian Daly to give Reece Winders in the Villa goal no chance.Athy Town should have gone in ahead at half time when Conor Germaine sent over a great cross for Rory Feely but his shot went wide.
Daragh Roycroft missed a glorious chance when a poor kick out found Roycroft on the edge of the box but his first time chip just went over the bar.
Athy took the lead five minutes into the second half when a well taken corner kick by Daragh Roycroft found the head of Brian Daly who made no mistake with a great headed goal.
Athy were now in rampant form and could have made sure of the trophy but failed to take a few chances.
The game swung from end to end and Gavin Keating crossed for Gary Allen who pounced on hesitancy in the Athy defence to equalise for Castle Villa.
Either team could have scored the winner but it fell to Aaron Murphy whose cross was bundled into the goal by Kevin Mulpeter with the Athy contingent claiming that the ball did not cross the line with six minutes remaining.
Despite great efforts by the Athy team they were unable to break down the Villa defence and Aaron Murphy gratefully accepted the P J Wallace Cup from registrar Sandra Treacy .
There were fine performances on both sides with Athy best served by Kristof Jenei, Daragh Roycroft , Brian Daly and Rory Felly while Castle Villa had stars in Aaron Murphy, Gavin Keating and Gary Allen
Darren Donnolly, James Redmond, James Dunne, Brian Daly, Patrick Wysocki, Niall Brennan, Alex Whelan, Kristof Jenei, Rory Feely, Daragh Roycroft, Conor Germaine Subs: Adenhola Ishola, Patrick Ryan, Tony Martin, Dale Leonard, Darren Lawler
Reece Winders, Ben Kelly, Shane Fennell, Stefan Lawlor, Conor Hayes, Aaron Murphy, Gary Allen, Gavin Keating, Eddie Hanlon, Josh Maguire, Kevin Mulpeter, Subs: Ross Harte, Michael Whelan, Jeff Seah, James Doran, Richard Wall.