Nora Kennedy Cup Final
Borroway Rovers 1 - Cloughjordan ‘B’
(Borroway Rovers won 3-2 on penalties AET)
Borroway Rovers produced a scintillating performance against Cloughjordan ‘B’ to take the Second Division Cup in the most dramatic fashion at a well attended Thurles Greyhound Stadium last Sunday afternoon. This action packed encounter had everything including the use of four goalkeepers, three red cards, a penalty shootout and some breathtaking goalkeeping. Both sides made nervous starts with a blustery cross field wind hampering the game during the early stages, Coughjordan’s Barry Loughnane put in a fine tackle after two minutes to break up a promising Borroway move. John Fitzgerald followed up to float in a dangerous free kick in to the Borroway goalmouth three minutes later, however William Carroll was able to head clear. The first real chance of the game came on 12 minutes when John Hayes pulled the ball across the area to the in running Jason Darcy who knocked wide of the target. The Thurles side threatened in the 16th minute when JJ Gleeson linked up with Wayne Keane who swivelled and let fly, however the effort dragged left of the post. Wayne Keane was in the action again a minute later with a free kick effort that was gathered by Cloughjordan custodian Terry Deane. Borroway Rovers kept the pressure on and Damien Troy’s shot whizzed wide of the woodwork on twenty two minutes. Cloughjordan upped the ante and won successive corners as Borroway came under pressure. The Second Division League finalists went ahead on 29 minutes when Jason Darcy’s speculative free kick should have been cleared by the Borroway rearguard, however Willie Darcy took full advantage and poked the ball over the line from close range. The Thurles side nearly equalised ten minutes before the break when Padraig Gleeson set up Wayne Keane who flashed a headed effort just wide. David Keane then came close for Rovers five minutes later with a good effort following a goalmouth scramble. Borroway were making a strong finish to the half and the woodwork came to the rescue for Cloughjordan when Owen Costello’s long range effort struck the crossbar three minutes in to stoppage time.
A Wayne Keane effort was held by the Cloughjordan keeper four minutes after the restart. Willie Darcy who was Cloughjordan’s best player on the day stole the ball on the left flank a minute later with the resulting effort not far off. Borroway got back on par on 53 minutes when Owen Costello finished on the deck inside the penalty area, referee Peter Moyles pointed to the spot and Wayne Keane made no mistake with a rasper to the roof of the net. Replacement goalkeeper John Lillis was introduced to the fray for Borroway Rovers on 55th minutes, which was to prove to be a master stroke. Willie Darcy’s free kick in the 57th minute swung away from Lillis, however the Borroway keeper gathered with aplomb a minute later from a Barry Loughnane delivery. Conor Deane came on as a sub on the hour mark for Cloughjordan and his first touch released Darren Killackey who’s effort was deflected out for a corner kick. Conor Deane then followed up seconds later with a darting run and was unlucky to see his flicked effort veer wide of the post. Seamus Brennan picked out Wayne Keane with a long throw in the 64th minute with the headed effort not far away. The Thurles side should have gone ahead three minutes later when Owen Costello ran through on the right, the flag stayed down, however the substitute’s powerful shot flew over the bar. It was end to end action at this stage and Darren Killackey got behind the Rovers defence on 69 minutes, however keeper John Lillis advanced and made a fine block at point blank range. Borroway’s William Carroll won a lot of ball in the air throughout and was unlucky not to steer under the bar from a Damien Troy corner kick with nine minutes to go. John Lillis was called on again seconds later and denied Cloughjordan’s Darren Killackey after racing off his line to make the block. It was proving to be a personal duel between second half substitutes Darren Killackey and John Lillis, Killackey broke down the left flank minutes later and swung in a menacing cross, the Borroway net minder back peddled and finger tipped the ball over for a corner kick. Tempers flared on the stroke of full time and Borroway Rovers JJ Gleeson was given his marching orders. Order was restored and Borroway had a chance to steal victory in the sixth minute of injury time when David Keane was in space on the right, however the side footed effort was outside the upright.
Cloughjordan did the early attacking in the first period of extra time and John Fitzgerald did have the ball in the net two minutes in, however the ball had already being flagged wide. The Thurles side responded in the 96th minute Keith Moore linked up with Damien Troy with the half volleyed attempt pulling away from Terry Deane’s goal. The last action of the first period extra time saw John O’Meara’s quick fire shot dipping away from the target.
Cloughjordan again made the better start to the second period of extra time and JP Fitzpatrick fired low and hard from out on the left on 103 minutes, the Borroway shot stopper saw late but somehow managed to keep the ball out, the subsequent goalmouth skirmish saw penalty claims from Cloughjordan going unheard. The final minutes were being played with high intensity and Cloughjordan’s John O’Meara was sent for an early shower five minutes from the final whistle. The exchanges were hectic in the remaining minutes and Cloughjordan gave the number one jersey to Darren Killackey in anticipation of the penalty shoot out three minutes from the end. Maybe this was premature and Cloughjordan looked to have sealed the victory a minute later when Willie Darcy was upended in the box as the referee pointed to the spot. Borroway’s William Carroll was sent to the line before order was restored. Darren Killackey came up field to take the penalty, however the opposing number one in the Borroway goal made a smashing to turn the ball outside the upright. The initiative was now with the Thurles side as the final whistle was sounded shortly afterwards to take the tie to a penalty shootout.
Willie Darcy put Cloughjordan ahead with a blistering penalty strike, Wayne Keane replied for Borroway Rovers. John Hayes was next up for Cloughjordan, however John Lillis was equal to the effort and made a fine save. Keith Moore converted Borroway’s second penalty and then it was the Cloughjordan custodian against the Borroway custodian for the second time, however John Lillis came out on top again with a superb save. Darren Killackey made a brief recovery for Cloughjordan with a full length save from Seamus Brennan. John Fitzgerald then tucked his effort in the corner to keep the Cloughjordan challenge alive. Own Costello stepped up to put Borroway 3-2 ahead, Cloughjordan’s fifth penalty from an unlucky Terry Deane was left of the upright as Borroway players and supporters ran to applaud John Lillis who was surely their match winner on the day. Cloughjordan will be disappointed with this defeat but can look forward to the Second Division play off against Holycross and will learn from this Cup defeat. Borroway were gallant victors on the day and turned in an enthralling performance to clinch the 2008/2009 Nora Kennedy Cup title in brilliant fashion.
Man of the Match: John Lillis (Borroway Rovers)
Borroway Rovers: David Kelly, Seamus Brennan, JJ Gleeson, Paul Gould, William Carroll, David Keane, Padraig Gleeson (Capt), Vincent Loughnane, Damien Troy, Keith Moore, Wayne Keane.
Subs: Owen Costello for Vincent Loughnane(44th minute), John Lillis for David Kelly (55th minute)
Subs Not Used: Shane Lanigan, Padraig Wade, Tony Callinan
Cloughjordan ‘B’: Terry Deane, John Fitzgerald, Wesley Hayes, Don McLean, John Hayes, Barry Loughnane, William Darcy(Capt), John O’Meara, Jason Darcy, Adrian Hogan, Gareth Russell
Subs: Darren Killackey for Gareth Russell (45th minute), Conor Deane for Jason Darcy(60th minute), JP Fitzpatrick for Jason Darcy (88th minute)
Subs Not Used: Peter Deane, Shane Hodgins
Referee: Peter Moyles
Assistant Referee’s: Shay Donnelly, Pat Gibson