Naas United came into this game seeking to complete a sensational treble, having already secured the CR Wynne Feeds Senior Division trophy with an unprecedented four games in hand back in September and the KDFL League Shield when they defeated Suncroft AFC two weeks ago, writes Michael Casey.
McIntyre Senior Cup Final
Naas United: 3
Woodstock Celts: 1
(match abondoned after 85 mins)
However they would have to overcome a strong Woodstock Celts side, who are the only team to inflict league defeat on Eoin Giblin’s side this season.
It was also the meeting of first and second placed in the Senior Division setting the scene perfectly in Mullarney Park.
However the destination of the McIntyre Senior Cup will now have to be decided in the KDFL boardroom as referee Peter Moore had to call a halt to proceedings by abandoning the game with five minutes remaining on the clock following a series of dismissals with Naas United leading 3-1 at the time.
Woodstock greeted United onto the field with a guard of honour for what was to be the 12th meeting of the KDFL Senior Cup final.
Both sides failed to settle in the early stages as could be expected in a final, the first shot of the game came in the tenth minute when United’s left back Paddy Walshe saw his long range volley easily saved.
Woodstock had a half chance through Jonathan Fennell soon after when a set piece sailed out at the back post of Aaron Smith’s goal.
Five minutes later Walshe was at it again as his snap shot flew just wide of the top corner as Woodstock netminder Michael Lawless scrambled across his goal.
The league champions were starting to create now and saw a brilliant Stephen Burke free kick crash back off the cross bar, just a minute later Burke struck the bar again with a terrific curling shot after the ball dropped in a crowded penalty area. Woodstock had the ball in the net on 35 minutes but the goal was ruled out by Moore for offside.
The game was now sparking into life as United saw a Mark Saunders header saved by Lawless before up the other end Aaron Smith was forced into two great saves from shots by Ricky Moriarty and Craig Dunphy as the half ended 0-0.
The second half saw United start very brightly as Vinny O’Conner struck a great chance just over the woodstock bar and two minutes later it was United who opened the scoring after great work from Eoin Doyle and Jay Acton set up Mark Saunders who grabbed his 18th goal of the season.
Midway through the half the Athy side levelled the scores as Eoin Doyle’s sliced clearance fell perfectly for Woodstock’s Sean Byrne who poked the ball brilliantly under Smith to leave the sides level at 1-1.
It took just five minutes for Naas to regain the lead and Eoin Doyle redeemed himself when he set Mark Saunders away and United’s wing wizard made no mistake as he calmly slotted past Lawless once more for his 19th goal of the season.
It was 3-1 on 80 minutes when substitute Jamie Lambe did well to win a corner and the resulting cross saw Jay Acton power a header home to give his side a two goal advantage.
Woodstock were dealt a blow soon after when Ricky Moriarty received his marching orders for a second bookable offence. However with eight minutes remaining they were awarded a penalty but Craig Dunphy’s spot kick was blazed over the crossbar.
With five minutes left the game was abandoned following two Woodstock Celt’s dismissals. The KDFL will make a decision on the outcome of the abandonment at their meeting this Thursday.
Aaron Smith, Jim McGrath, Paddy Walshe, Eoin Giblin, Joe Ryan, Jason Acton, Mark Saunders, Stephen Burke, Brian Cooper, Vinny O’Connor, Eoin Doyle, Jamie Lambe, Alan Coady, Daragh Deane, Alan Crowe, Ciaran Begley.
Michael Lawless, Corey Lammon, Liam Leonard, Michael Walsh, Gary Foley, Sean Byrne, Martin Brennan, Ricky Moriarty, Craig Dunphy, Jonathan Fennell, James Fennell, James Lammon, Darren Donoghue, Paddy O’Brien, Tommy Connell, Noel Mitchell.