Togher Celtic 0 Lyre Rovers 1
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
CRAIG McDermott’s solitary goal was enough to earn Lyre Rovers victory over Togher Celtic in the West Cork League U18 Cup final at the Baltimore Road.
McDermott’s second-half strike decided an evenly-matched contest in which defences were on top and Lyre won out thanks to their greater attacking threat.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action during an otherwise entertaining opening 30 minutes. Celtic’s Jerry Collins fired over from distance while Lyre’s Cathal Dineen forced a Daire Hayes save from a corner but neither goalkeeper was unduly troubled apart from those half-chances.
Togher’s best moments occurred whenever Robbie Lucey was in possession and the midfielder was well supported by Peter Collins and Alan Brickley. Lyre also produced plenty of attractive approach work thanks to Craig McDermott, Dean Harte and David O’Sullivan’s combined efforts. Yet the closest a tight cup final came to an opening goal was when Togher Celtic won a free-kick deep in Lyre territory shortly before the interval. Only a marvellous Colm O’Donovan one-handed save prevented Lyre from falling behind but a 0-0 score-line was a fair reflection of an even 45 minutes.
Rovers had the ball in the net only for the effort was correctly ruled out for offside at the beginning of the second period. That attempt encouraged Lyre to push further forward and a David O’Sullivan header came within inches of breaking the deadlock after 56 minutes.
Cal Nyhan and Peter Collins ensured Togher didn’t concede before a superb Robbie Lucey and Jerry Collins move ended with the latter bringing the best out of Colm O’Donovan.
Then it was Celtic’s turn to have a goal disallowed following a penalty box scramble in a cup decider where Lyre continued to look the more likely to score. So it proved as Rovers finally made the breakthrough when Craig McDermott’s deflected shot found the bottom corner 15 minutes from the end.
James Lynam went within inches of doubling Lyre’s advantage and Jerry Collins watched a deflected attempt roll past an upright during a high-tempo finale. Celtic’s Conor O’Neill watched a goal-bound attempt deflect over the crossbar but Lyre Rovers held on to claim the West Cork League U18 Cup trophy.
Togher Celtic: Daire Hayes, Cal Nyhan, Conor O’Neill, Conor O’Connell, Peter Collins, Alan Brickley, Jerry Collins, Dylan O’Callaghan (captain), Robbie Lucey, Michael O’Donovan, Daniel Dullea. Subs: Colin Farr, Danny Horgan, Adam O’Donovan.
Lyre Rovers: Colm O’Donovan, David White (captain), Harry Oates, Cian Murphy, Joe McCarthy, Dean Harte, Cathal Dineen, David O’Sullivan, Keith Nyhan, James Lynam, Craig McDermott. Subs: Padraig Healy, Daniel O’Donovan, Eoin McKennedy, Roy O’Driscoll.
Referee: Patrick Hurley.