In the fourth match up between the two sides in just five weeks, it was Sheriff YC who again came away as cup kings with their third cup victory over Kilbarrack in the past four weeks, and again it was penalty kicks that decided the winner after the sides could not be separated after extra time in this Nivea For Men Cup semi-final at the AUL Complex.
In what can best be described as a scrappy opening, only Anto Kavanagh for Sheriff stood out and Kilbarrack’s Mark Town was always looking dangerous. It was Sheriff however that broke the deadlock with a well worked goal from Keith Dunne with a great finish and an assist from Ala McCabe after excellent work by Stephen Murphy. Although Kilbarrack had some chances, they did look somewhat one dimensional with long balls into Keith Kirwan not paying off. It was Sheriff who went in 1-0 at the break.
Into the second half it was Kilbarrack who perhaps started the better and continued to probe the resolute Sheriff defence and mid way through the half it was their Mark Geraghty who got them back into game when he blasted the ball past Lee Murphy into the net to make it 1-1. Soon after was a major turning point when Sheriff’s Tony Kane was sent off for a rash challenge, reducing them to ten men, although as previous games have shown, Sheriff are well used to going a man down and coping well.
Kilbarrack laid siege to the Sheriff goal but once again they looked one dimensional with long balls into Keith Kirwan not having the desired effect and the Sheriff defence having the better of that duel. The Kilbarrack bench were livid at the referee for both his cancelling of a Kilbarrack goal and for what they saw as his leniency towards some very tough tackling from the Sheriff players. Sheriff in spite of having a lot of defending to do continued to threaten the Kilbarrack goal on the break through the ever dangerous Keith Dunne. Despite this, the game finished normal time at -1 and a further twenty minutes of extra time could not produce a goal for either side although it did produce a red card for Kilbarrack’s Karl O’Reilly for two yellows after he came on as a substitute and the game ended 1-1 and went to penalty kicks.
The script for the penalties it seemed was written beforehand and it was Sheriff who again came away as victors just like the FAI junior final as Kilbarrack missed three to Sheriffs one miss as it finished 3-1 on penalties. Heartbreak for Kilbarrack again with three cup losses to Sheriff in just four weeks. They may have an opportunity to avenge these defeats if both teams win their Liddy Cup semi-finals on Sunday June 23rd when Kilbarrack face Ayrfield and Sheriff face St Kevins, with both games in the AUL Complex to decide who plays in the June 27th final at the same venue