Seniors in Leinster Junior Final

November 7, 2018

by Gerry Murtagh

SKB: Alan Cosgrove, Johnny Carroll, Eric Kenny, Dougie Dolan, Conor Dillon, Tony McDonnell, Aaron Cameron, Stephen Cooling, Garteh Murphy, Decky O’Hara, Robert Coombes, Jordan Lancaster, Conor Reid, Keith McDermott, Stephen Higgins, Keith O’Hanlon

An outstanding display from the Saints Senior team (pictured) saw them reach the final of the Leinster Junior Cup following a comprehensive victory over Killester United.

The Saints started brightly and were a goal ahead after just 4 minutes. A short corner was played to the far post where Tony McDonnell headed it back into the 6 yard box for Dougie Dolan to head home. They were unlucky not to be two up following a wonderful strike by Stephen Cooling whose 25 yard shot hit the crossbar after great work by Eric Kenny down the left had set him up. The Saints suffered their first injury problem after just 20 minutes when the excellent Conor Dillon had to be replaced by Stephen Higgins. Killester upped their game and the Saints defence was under pressure. After 40 minutes Eric Kenny went off injured to be replaced by Jordan Lancaster.

With the first half in injury time Killester got the equalizer as a deflected shot found their centre forward who gave Alan Cosgrove in goal no chance from 10 yards out.

The second half was only a few minutes old when the Saints were forced into another substitution as Decky O’Hara limped off to be replaced by Conor Reid. On 10 minutes the Saints were awarded a hotly disputed penalty for hand ball. Up stepped Stephen Higgins and buried the ball to make it 2-1 to the Saints. This spurred on the Saints and shortly afterwards they were 3-1 ahead. A superb ball played over the top saw the hard working Gareth Murphy race out right before cutting inside and firing off a shot. His shot took a deflection and fell kindly to Stephen Cooling to score from 8 yards out.

With the Killester defence run ragged by Murphy it was turning into a great day for the Saints. Jordan Lancaster saw his shot cleared off the line before the Saints went 4-1 ahead. A free kick by Lancaster was floated into the area and Cooling’s header slipped through the goalkeeper’s hands and into the net.

Within a few minutes it was 5-1 as again a corner headed down by McDonnell saw Lancaster score from inside the 6 yard area.

Killester just couldn’t get back into the game and but for some last ditch defending in their 6 yard box could have seen the day turn embarrassing. Murphy, who deserved a goal for all his effort, was very unlucky after he caught the centre half in possession and bore down on goal with two defenders on his heels – a fine save from the keeper denying him of glory. With just minutes remaining Killester were awarded a penalty and scored to leave the game at 5-2.