TOGHER CELTIC 1
MIZEN AFC 0 (aet)
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
TOGHER Celtic will face Drinagh Rangers in this season’s Beamish Cup final after overcoming Mizen AFC at Baltimore Road.
Johnny Kelly’s extra-time winner proved the difference between two evenly-matched sides in a semi-final high on effort but low on quality. A gale wind ruined the game with Mizen enjoying the benefit of the elements in the opening half.
Both sides took time to settle before Donnacha Collins tested Mizen goalkeeper Ronan Kennedy. Although plying their trade a division below Togher, Mizen held their ground during a scrappy start and were presented with a rare scoring opportunity after 13 minutes.
Sean Sheehan was brought down on the edge of the penalty area but Darren O’Donovan sent the resulting free-kick straight into Celtic’s wall.
The remainder of a stop-start 45 minutes saw Togher unable to release strikers Johnny Hurley and David Mawe. Mizen got little change out of a Celtic defence in which Ian Crowley and Kevin Cotter excelled.
Mawe and Darren O’Donovan each spurned half-chances shortly before Celtic wasted the semi-final’s best opportunity after 53 minutes. Mizen failed to deal with a routine centre but Johnny Kelly couldn’t capitalise, shooting straight at Ronan Kennedy from six yards. Kelly remained Togher’s most potent attacking threat and curled a free-kick narrowly wide on the hour mark. David Mawe turned and shot inches wide as Togher enjoyed their best spell, a period Mizen were indebted to goalkeeper Ronan Kennedy for producing two excellent saves.
Neither side was able to get a shot on target let alone find the net during a frantic finale. Scoreless after 90 minutes, Togher and Mizen embarked on two periods of extra-time. Donnacha Collins warmed Ronan Kennedy’s gloves and Mizen’s Darren O’Donovan chipped an effort over the cross-bar a minute after the final restart.
Five minutes from the end, Kevin Cotter slid a pass through the heart of Mizen’s back four and re-leased Johnny Kelly. The Togher midfielder took a touch before slipping the ball into the back of the net.
The drama didn’t end there as Celtic were reduced to ten men following Jamie Lucey’s red card but held for the narrowest of 1-0 wins.
Togher Celtic: Ciarán Murray, Adrian Hurley, Jamie Lucey, Sean Crowley, Ian Crowley (captain), Johnny Hurley, David Mawe, Kevin Cotter, Johnny Kelly, Donnacha Collins, Niall Hurley.
Subs: Robbie Lucey, Bill Murphy, Dave O’Brien, Darren Kelly, Cian O’Neill, Seamus Crowley, Robbie Ahern.
Mizen AFC: Ronan Kennedy, Daniel O’Callaghan, James Scully, David O’Leary, Shane O’Leary, Pat-rick Scully (captain), Daniel O’Driscoll, Paudie Reidy, Daniel Farrell, Darren O’Donovan, Sean Sheehan.
Subs: Peter Sheehan, Andy McCarthy, Mike O’Reilly, Micheal Sheehan, Christopher Kennedy, Tadgh Reidy.
Referee: Paul McDermott.