LFA Senior Cup
Thomastown Utd – 3
North End Utd – 1
By Paul Doyle
Kilkenny District League Premier Division champions Thomastown Utd inflicted defeat on Wexford champions North End Utd for the forst time this season on Sunday.
An early pitch inspection in United Park declared the pitch playable for this much-anticipated game and both sides were well up for it.
Thomastown being the underdogs started the best when only 10 minutes were gone on the clock captain Andy Kavanagh stuck a shot straight off the cross bar from just outside the 18 yard box. With just 18 minutes gone it was Kavanagh again who found himself free inside the box this time but his half volley came off his shin and over the bar.
This woke North End up and they pushed the ball around a bit more but Thomastown’s defence held strong and denied anyone and entrance through on goal. Nathan Sherry playing in an unusual role of centre half due to other injuries in the team had the game of his life, Won 90% of all headers that came his way.
It was 38 minutes into the game when North End had their first shot in anger and it was the safe hands of Paul Dunne in the Thomastown goal that pushed the shot off the cross bar. Just a mere minute later North End saw another shot of theirs come off the upright and ending up wide. Just when it looked like North End were getting on top of the game the half time whistle blew.
North End came out of the traps in the second half and just two minutes in grabbed the opening goal of the game when Paul Murphy found himself free at the back post to slot calmly into the bottom left.
Normally this would knock the stuffing out of a team but it was the opposite for Thomastown, It seemed to wake them up and put them into 5th gear. It just took four minutes for Thomastown to find the equalizer when a free kick from Mick O’Neill along the end line was perfectly lofted into the box for the head of Stephen Connolly.
The next 10 minutes Thomastown dominated the game and showed no sign of letting up when Andy Kavanagh danced through three defenders and selflessly passed a square ball across the goal to David Prendergast to slot past the keeper with his left foot, Still Thomastown were not satisfied and pushed on again in the 61st minute when Kavanagh again took another shot but this time it was parried out to oncoming Mick O’Neill who made no mistake and blasted past the keeper to make it 3-1.
North End tried again and on the 66th minute had three chances in a row saved off the line by the Thomastown defence. There was no breaking down of the Thomastown defence who held steady for the remainder of the game.
Thomastown now advance to the third round of the Leinster Senior Cup after beating Ashford Rovers in the preliminary round, Boyne Harps in the first round and now North End Utd in the second round.