League Cup Final experts Castle Villa AFC claimed the Lumsden League Cup for the third time in their in their clubs history when the overcame a game Rathagan AFC by 3-1 on Sunday at a packed Newbridge Town main stadium, writes Michael Casey.
Lumsden League Cup Final
Castle Villa: 3
Rathangan AFC: 1
Villa who won the trophy in the 99/00 and in 2009 having been runners up on no less than three occasions 97/98, 01/02 and 03/04 were facing Rathangan in their very first League Cup Final. The eventual winners defeated Naas United, Bridge United, Coill Dubh AFC and Liffey Celtic on their way to the final and were sure to be favourites however both teams league record being exactly the same this was never going to be clear cut.
Rathangan’s road to the final involved victories over Newbridge Colts, Ballycane Celtic, Woodstock Celts and Eleson United, started the brighter and seemed to settle quicker than their more experienced counterparts.
It took the canalsiders less than thee minutes to breech the Villa defence and win the first corner of the game. The corner was whipped in by Emmet Geoghegan and Eoin Kennedy was quickest to react in a crowded area to fire past Alan Proctor in the Villa goal to put them 1-0 up.
This early lead by Rathangan seemed to spring Villa into action and they created a couple of half chances before Paddy Mahon put them on level terms three minutes later following great work by Roy Byrne from wide on the right.
The equaliser didn’t unsettle Rathangan and they continued to cause problems for the Villa defence of Paul Redmond, Ross Coleman and David Keating forcing a series of corners.
From one of these corners scorer Eoin Kennedy almost made it two when he volleyed just over from close range with Proctor beaten.
Rathangan continued to pass the ball well around the middle of the park however in a rare lapse of concentration lost possession 25 yards out to Roy Byrne who released Mahon again however his shot was agonisingly wide of John Cassidys right post.
Castle Villa encouraged by Mahon’s work rate gradually got on top and 15 minutes before half time went 2-1 up when again some great interchanging between Captain Anto Lawlor and Byrne freed Mahon on the right he cut in to fire past the stranded Cassidy and leave the score at 2-1 to Villa going into the break.
The second half began as the first ended with Villa on the attack backed up by the introduction of Timmy Doyle for Vinny Dowling and the youthful Jordan Harmon for a tiring Mark Kavanagh it was clear that the Liam Murphy managed side were going all out for victory.
Both substitutes made an instant impact and with 69 minutes gone they got the comfort third goal when the 16 year old Harmon with his first touch of the ball beat John Mulpeter and Pauraic Kelly to send an inch perfect pass to the inrushing Timmy Doyle who made no mistake to fire past Cassidy to make it 3-1.
Rathangan tried hard to get back into the game and came close with two efforts from substitute Rohan Weston and Kennedy. However try as they made they could find no way past the Villa defence in which Ross Coleman was outstanding and the Castledermot side went on to claim victory of the Tony Lumsden League Cup trophy for a historic third time.
Best of the winners were Proctor in goal, Anto Lawlor in midfield and Mahon up front who received the KDFL League Cup man of the match award.
While for a Rathangan side who will on their performance again contest this fine trophy in the near future, John Cassidy in goal, Emmet Geoghegan and Aidan Kennedy in midfield and Kennedy up front were outstanding.
Castle Villa AFC:
Alan proctor, Paul Redmond, Ross Coleman, David Keating, Gary Mulhall, Anto Lawlor (Capt.) Roy Byrne, Vinny Dowling, Paddy Mahon, Stephen McDonald, Mark Kavanagh, Timmy Doyle, Mick Lawlor, Jordan Harmon, James Ashmore, Lee Doyle.
John Cassidy, Pauraic Kelly (Capt) Mark Cassidy, John Mulpeter, Emmet Geoghegan, Aidan Kennedy, Tommy Moloney, Michael Kennedy, Mark McCormack, Ned Cullen, Eoin Kennedy, Rohan Weston, Sam O Loughlin, Shane Kennedy, Aidan Leonard, Daire Kennedy.
Eddie Sullivan, Billy Conlon.
Fourth Official, John