KILDRUM TIGERS FINALLY got one over on their arch nemesis Trojans to win the Michael Cullen Under-14 Cup at Brandywell Stadium tonight.
Kildrum Tigers 1 Trojans 1
after extra time; Kildrum win 4-3 on pens
A dramatic, entertaining and breathless encounter was only over when, with the tenth penalty kick of a nervous shoot-out, Kildrum’s Aaron O’Donnell hammered high to the net to win it.
O’Donnell was away in celebration and the red and black seats of the Southend Stand provided the backdrop as the young Tigers piled in after getting the better of a Trojans side that had their number until now.
It was the first time Kildrum have got one over on this Trojans side, but they’ve lifted the Indian sign at last.
Kildrum’s Anton Murtagh was denied with the opening Kildrum penalty, but Declan Dolan, the Tigers netminder, saved from Aaron McClafferty and David Donnelly blazed over the crossbar to tip the scales in favour of the St Johnston side.
Successful kicks from Niall Fielding, Shane Monaghan, Adam Callaghan and O’Donnell gave Kildrum a memorable win that was deserved on the balance of what went before those ten decisive kicks from 12 yards.
Adam Green lit up the night with a spectacular goal early in extra time that might have won it for Shane Porter’s Kildrum, only for Ryan McCaul to level within a minute.
Normal time ended scoreless, but hadn’t been without its moments, although Green whipped the Tigers crowd into a frenzy with a goal that could stand alone with any witnessed at the soon-to-be-demolished and rebuilt Brandywell.[adrotate group=”80″]
As Green stood over a free kick, wide on the right-hand side, few in the venue sensed danger.
Green, though, had other ideas and sent a magnificent effort beyond the ‘keeper into the net, his shot gaining momentum as it flew through the drizzle.
Kildrum switched off momentarily from the restart and Trojans drew level, McCaul applying the finish after Dolan raced out to block the advances of Jack Mullan.
Green almost repeated his trick, but his next attempt cannoned off the crossbar.[adrotate group=”38″]
Dolan’s reactions saved his side late in extra time, first saving from Caoimhin Porter and then getting down to turn away when O’Donnell was in danger of putting through his own goal.
It felt, by then, like a long time since Kildrum had taken the initiative in normal time.
The ever-dangerous McClafferty was denied by Dolan early on, but Kildrum warmed to the task and saw Auryn Coyle fire to the side-netting and Murtagh’s looping header was over the top.
It took brave goalkeeping to keep Green from firing the opening blow of the game after being played in by James Kernan’s fine through-ball, while a wonder save by Dolan, just after the start of the second half, kept the deadlock intact as he denied McClafferty.[adrotate group=”76″]
Kildrum, led by the tenacious CJ Clarke and driven by the busy Green in the engine room, lived dangerously at times and Dolan saved again from McClafferty and Porter in quick succession.
Green eyed up the target soon after, but saw another effort from distance spin wickedly off a Trojans defender and fly wide and, right at the death, Kildrum were denied a penalty when Corey McBride-Gillen went to ground in the box.
Not long later and penalties were the order of the day and Kildrum kept their cool to take receipt of the silverware amid jubilant scenes.
Kildrum Tigers: Declan Dolan; Auryn Coyle; CJ Clarke, Shane Monaghan, Aaron O’Donnell; Michael Harris, Shane Coyle, Adam Green, Niall Fielding; Anton Murtagh; James Kernan. Subs: Corey McBride-Gillen for Fielding (59), Jack McCarron for Kernan (68), Adam Callaghan for Green (85), Fielding for S.Coyle (90).
Trojans: Caoimhin O’Neill; Joe Mailey, Shea Fealer, Ethan McSherry, Ryan Kennedy; Jack Mullan, Tiarnan McGuinness, Caoimhin Porter, Nathan McCrudden; Ryan McIntyre, Aaron McClafferty. Sub: Ryan McCaul for McIntyre (47).Tags: