Breska Rovers 2-1 Adare United.
For the first time since 2004/05 Breska Rovers secured the Division One League Cup, with a 2-1 win over the already promoted Adare United. Adrian Costellos side were full value for the win, after earlier knocking out Ballysteen and league winners AK United away from home.
The silverware is a first since 2014/15 when Pa Fitzgibbon led Breska to a Richard Hogan Cup success. Indeed, no fewer than 10 players involved that day played their part in this triumph. Goals from Josh Page and Kevin Foster were crucial, however 1-16 played their part in a sweet victory.
Played on an immaculate Mick Hanley Park surface, Breska exploded from the blocks and asked questions of the Adare rearguard. Josh Page, has caused havoc for any defence since he began playing with the club did similar once more, in his lone striking role. The clock had just read 15 minutes when he scored. This goal was his first of the season, having missed the entire season waiting for knee surgery.
He latched onto a direct through ball and pushed aside the Adare defenders to finish right footed. As the half wore on, he lived off scraps, but his strength meant that he created openings that wouldn’t ordinarily be there. He was supplied by wingers Josh Fitzgerald and Sean Healy while the tireless Kevin Foster provided a link from midfield to attack. Adare created little in the opening quarter with the defence marshalled by stalwarts James Kennedy and Conor McCarthy. McCarthy had one of his best performances all season while Kennedy was assured and classy as ever, at the heart of the defence. As the half wore on, chances fell to Fitzgerald, Foster and Page, while James Purcell – who won man of the match – pulled off an outstanding acrobatic save to deny Adare an equaliser.
Going in half time, Breska were fully deserving of their lead. A hotly contested midfield area saw five yellow cards distributed, Josh Fitzgerald clashed with the Adare fullback, while David Fitzgerald and Healy were cautioned for poor challenges.
The second half started with Breska retreating. However, given the strength of the back five all season it wasn’t a worry as they thrive when defending a lead. Diarmuid O’Connor was secure at right full while Nathan Sheehan was rarely second best at left back.
As the half wore on, Adare owned the ball, with Purcell to the rescue on a number of occasions. Josh Page did well at times, but was living off very little. Mark Phayer and David Fitzgerald were shutting things down in the middle with Fitzgerald emptying the tank early.
Ger Mullins replaced him shortly before we doubled the lead. A through ball intended for Josh Page was ignored as he was offside, but Josh Fitzgerald raced onto it and went in full blooded with the United keeper. The challenge saw the ball break to Kevin Foster on the edge of the area and he simply dribbled the ball into the back of the net. Foster notched his third goal of the season to put us within touching distance of the cup.
Adare through the kitchen sink at Breska, though fresh legs of Tom Clancy, Tommy Collery, Ian O’Leary and Josh Moloney helped us over the line. Moloney making his junior debut – after a superb season with the Youths
With the six minutes added virtually up, Adare pulled a goal back. A mishit shot trickled into the corner. The Adare hope lasted briefly, another two minutes were played before Ian O’Leary – Tom Condon style – headed a free-kick clear. Pat O’Donnell blew for full time as we held on for a sweet victory.
Mark Phayer accepted the cup on behalf of a jubilant side. He thanked the committee for their efforts as well as his teammates for a season that began in late July. We’ve used 35+ players in a stop start season but it makes it all worth it when silverware comes back to Clarina.
A special word of thanks must go to secretary Niall O’Connor, chairman Dave Gee and the rest of the committee. Mike McGregor must also receive praise for all his efforts on helping restore our pitch to its top level.
James Purcell; Diarmuid O’Connor, Conor McCarthy, James Kennedy, Nathan Sheehan (Tommy Collery); Sean Healy (Josh Moloney), David Fitzgerald (Ger Mullins), Kevin Foster, Mark Phayer, Josh Fitzgerald (Tom Clancy), Josh Page (Ian O’Leary)
Subs not used: Declan Normoyle, Jack Moroney, Orin Garvey, James Flanagan