Leinster Junior Cup
Collinstown win 3-2 on penalties
Lee Murphy scored and saved a penalty in yet another shootout, but it wasn’t enough for Sheriff this time around as Ross Cosstigan grabbed the spot light.
The super sub of a different kind produced a shootout save and saw two others sail over the bar as Collinstown became the first team to beat the FAI Junior Cup champions in peno’s since Pike Rovers of Limerick in 2011.
Sheriff had twice fought their way back in a game that saw both end with 10 men, but Collinstown pulled the hand break on the drive for a successive five, winning from 12 yards.
As a result of the shootout win the LSL Major 1 champions claimed their second Leinster Junior Cup final win over the all conquering Inner City side-Collintown defeated Sheriff in the 2015 decider-, made it decider repeat rather than revenge and claimed their second provincial crown in three seasons.
Sheriff playing their fourth Cup clash in a week seemed to settle first and moved the ball effectively early on.
However, Collinstown looked a threat out wide particularly via Man of the Match in the semi final win over Navan Cosmos Darren Clarke.
Indeed, one brilliant Clarke burst down the left lead to the moment that seemed to swing things in the Clondalkin sides favour. The winger beat two players and clipped in toward Ian McNeill at the back post. McNeill forced a good save from Lee Murphy and the ball was cleared for a throw.
As Collinstown shaped to launch into the box Graham Doyle hit the turf and Anto Kavanagh seen red for an off the ball incident.
Despite the man deficit Sheriff continued to see more of the ball. The defending champions didn’t create to much by way of chances, but controlled possession in large parts.
The transition from 11 to 10 seemed seamless, they didn’t change formation rather just filled holes as the saw fit and saw possession as the best form of defence.
Collinstown did pose a threat through their pace and a Ger Short burst from half way forced another Murphy save, while Doyle’s follow up was blocked.
However, it was Sheriff that continued to probe, yet chances remained at a premium. Stephen Murphy did have a volley routinely saved, while Darren Dunne’s attempted lob drifted wide of the post and Joe O’Neill’s effort from range was high and wide and the sides went in scoreless at the turn.
It didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken after the restart. Collinstown won a free just inside the Sheriff half, Dean Carpenter sent it into the area and Clarke and Doyle reversed rolls as the pacey front man nodded down for the former Dublin target man in the box.
The veteran front man, who was assistant manager at The Bus last term set himself under pressure and fired home from all of six yards to spark wild celebrations.
The goal came before 50 minutes had passed, but Sheriff reacted as if their were five rather than 40 mins left.
They seemed a bit rushed and couldn’t settle into their normal keep ball flow. However, as the half progressed they began to create chances through sure will.
Joe O’Neill had a peno shout before Mattew Cullen had to react to block Dunne after a clever Sean Murphy pass.
Declan Woods was then out smart to stop Sean Murphy after he had raced through down the inside left channel while sub Anto Murphy headed straight a 1 come corner time soon after.
For the most part they weren’t clear cut, but were chances nonetheless and Collinstown, who were without the injured Daniel Matthews by this stage, were being forced to defend and a result couldn’t go for the juggler.
As time ticked on, the LSL side seemed to sit deeper and in the final 15 minutes Sheriff upped the anti. When Collinstown saw a man sent off for a second yellow Alan Reilly’s charges went all out for the leveler.
They thought they had it when a neat move involving Dunne and Stephen Murphy presented Sean Murphy with a chance from 7 yards. The wide man connected diving header style, but Woods produced a sensational save with his trailing leg to maintain his sides lead.
Woods saved again from Sean Murphy as he muscled his way in on goal, before being brave to deny John Rock at the back post soon after.
When Rock deflected a Thomas Dunne effort toward goal from another set piece the Sheriff support rose to their feet, but their bums were back in seats as the effort was blocked on the line.
It looked like it wasn’t going to be Sheriff’s day at that stage, but they did find passage back into the tie, eventually!
Anto Muprhy launched a throw into the area and it found it’s way into the net. The referee gave it, then seemed to give a free, then consulted with his linesman before ruling the goal could stand.
While Mikey Griffin looked a good out ball for Collinstown, the Major 1 champs, who lost to Sheriff in this seasons FAI Junior Cup, were not adjusting to their sending off in the same manner as their opponents and Sheriff had the better of the final few minutes.
Indeed, but for a McNeill clearance off the line after Paul Murphy had cut in from the right and fired a left footed shot goalward they may not have seen extra time.
The first half of extra time was uneventful apart from the fact 1 had to go off injured.
Lee Muprhy’s name started to be whispered around the stadium as the second half began, many predicting he would grab the spotlight again.
However, Ian McNeill put his body on the line to put his side back in front and penos no longer looked likely.
The wide right player, who started the season at Cherry Orchard, followed in on a Dean Carptener free kick, took a clatter and fired the ball home before calling for attention.
The Collinstown boom box was out again, but was soon silenced, as within seconds of the tip off YC were level again.
Anto Murphy who was introduced as a centre half, but seemed to be everywhere, took a Dunne pass and crossed low into the area where Thomas Dunne was waiting to sweep home.
And so an exciting clash was to have more drama via penos.
Sheriff were everyone’s favourites at this point, but the managed to miss two and had one saved and it was Collinstown who lifted the cup.