Buncrana man helps IT Carlow to Rustlers Cup success

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Buncrana’s Kieran McDaid helped IT Carlow to glory in yesterday’s Rustlers Cup final.

IT Carlow overcame University of Limerick 3-2 in Athlone,.

A Shane Barnes brace and Danny Doyle’s opener sealed a fourth success in the competition for IT Carlow and adds to their CFAI Colleges Plate success this season. 

Head Coach Tom Elmes also became the first person to win the Premier Division as a player and coach, following his own success with Carlow in 2012.

McDaid, a former Finn Harps player now back with his hometown club Buncrana Hearts in the Inishowen League, has had great success at IT Carlow.

It was an action-packed game throughout and Carlow hit the ground running with Doyle heading home Dean Kelly’s cross after just 69 seconds of play.

Carlow doubled their lead seven minutes before half-time when Ian Fletcher failed to deal with a long ball over the top and Barnes swooped in and lifted the ball over the on-rushing Shane McCormack and knocked the ball into an empty net.

UL’s Harding Cup hero Ed O’Dwyer instilled some belief in his side with twelve minutes remaining when he headed home Alan Murphy’s cross at the back post.

That belief was knocked back just moments later when Barnes ran on to a through ball from Mark Birrane and cooly finished past McCormack to send the entire Carlow team and bench hurtling down to their goalscorer.

A crazy couple of minutes had another layer added to it when sixteen seconds after the restart from Barnes goal, the ball was in IT Carlow’s net when Kowalczyk failed to deal with Adam Foley’s cross and Conor Whittle put the ball into the net to set up an electric final few moments.

Carlow, however, imposed their maturity upon a young Limerick side and managed to see the closing minutes out and spark scenes of jubilation.

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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