Mighty Mag­pies se­cure his­toric shoot-out vic­tory

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

NEW­TOWN ad­vanced to the fi­nal of the West Wick­low Cup and a date with Dunlavin af­ter de­feat­ing Éire Óg in a terrific game at Kil­coole.

The game ended in the dreaded penalty shoot-out, a first in Wick­low, with New­town goal­keeper De­nis Kel­legher prov­ing the hero as he saved all three Éire Óg spot kicks.

Danny Woods opened the scor­ing with a su­per long-range point; how­ever, the first 20 min­utes were very even with the next four points traded to leave the Grey­stones men a point to the good.

The game ig­nited at this stage trig­gered by a New­town goal. A long ac­cu­rate ball from Conor Od­lum al­lowed dan­ger­man Dean Od­lum space to drill low and hard past Billy Nor­man to the Éire Óg net.

It spurred the Grey­stones men on as they kicked three points on the trot with Shaun Cran­ley pro­vid­ing them all. The pick of which was one where he bat­tled might­ily to gain pos­ses­sion and with­out look­ing clipped the ball over.

On the stroke of half-time, Dean Od­lum tied the scores up af­ter Declan Doyle had found him in space

The sec­ond half con­tin­ued at a su­per pace. Ross Davis who was ex­cel­lent through­out got a free to start the scor­ing be­fore Cran­ley replied. New­town wing back Lee Turner strode for­ward to put the Mag­pies in front again be­fore David Rooney launched a free off his mag­i­cal left foot to tie it up again.

It stayed like this for the next few min­utes score for score be­fore New­town got the up­per hand. Davis got two more frees be­fore Dean Od­lum got in on goal his rocket of a shot beat Nor­man but can­noned off the cross­bar, the ball re­bounded to county man Mark Fitzsimons and with the bar still rat­tling he tapped a ball over for a three-point lead.

Éire Óg showed great tenac­ity to come back. Cran­ley pointed a free, his brother James Cran­ley pointed an au­da­cious point from a ridicu­lous an­gle and Shaun Cran­ley with another free tied it up.

Once more New­town replied. Fitzsimons won the kick out and he spot­ted Turner gal­lop­ing up the line with the wing back driv­ing straight at the goal be­fore scyth­ing a ball over.

With two min­utes to go Éire Óg worked a free and cen­tre back Rooney tied it up again with a well struck left footed ef­fort.

That was the last score be­fore ref­eree Darragh Byrne blew the full-time whis­tle and off to ex­tra-time we went.

Shane Mooney showed his lead­er­ship to trun­dle up from cen­tre back and clip a good score for the Mag­pies. Sean Gre­gory got a great point to ex­tend the lead when he jinked by his man and landed a bomb. Again, Éire Óg turned to Cran­ley and the for­mer Mi­nor star was up to the task, hit­ting a 45 be­fore get­ting a su­perb score from the right wing af­ter Gavin O’Shea had done the don­key work.

Four min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod of ex­tra-time, Éire Óg took the lead for the first time since the 25th minute when Gavin O’Shea lobbed an ef­fort over from out on the left flank.

Davis replied to level it again. With time run­ning out, Rooney from cen­tre back thought he had clipped the win­ning score, how­ever, in in­jury time of ex­tra-time New­town got the equal­is­ing score to force us into penal­ties.

Éire Óg felt it was a harsh free and with goal­keeper Billy Nor­man ar­gu­ing a lit­tle too vig­or­ously, ref­eree Byrne black carded him. Matt Maguire stepped in be­tween the sticks for the shootout and was un­for­tu­nate not to save one, get­ting a hand to Conor Od­lum’s ef­fort. How­ever, Kel­legher was a brick wall, shut­ting out Danny Woods, Shaun Cran­ley and David Rooney.

An ex­cel­lent game. Éire Óg will be dis­ap­pointed to lose, how­ever it’s a game that will stand to them come cham­pi­onship with Dan Keane to come back too. Dar­ren Hay­den and Gavin O’Shea played well for them.

New­town have im­proved so much since last year and have another league fi­nal to look for­ward to. Ross Davis, Fitzsimons and ob­vi­ously Kel­legher stood out for them. Man of the match was Cran­ley. Even though on a los­ing side, the quantity and qual­ity of his scores were ex­cel­lent. For a player so young he showed a cool head. Def­i­nitely one to watch for the cham­pi­onship.

Scor­ers - New­town: Ross Davis 0-7, Dean Od­lum 1-1, Sean Hef­fer­nan 0-2, Lee Turner 0-2, Sean Gre­gory 0-1, Mark Fitzsimons 0-1, Shane Mooney 0-1.

Éire Óg: Shaun Cran­ley 0-9, David Rooney 0-4, Dar­ren Hay­den 0-2, Danny Woods 0-1, James Cran­ley 0-1, Gavin O’Shea 0-1.

Ac­tion from the Dunlavin v. New­town West Wick­low Cup fi­nal in Aughrim on Mon­day evening.

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