Avenue United 5 St. Pats 2
Avenue United were crowned Clare youths cup soccer champions at Frank Healy park this Friday evening when they recorded a 5-2 victory over St. Pats
The win completed a particularly successful week for Gavin Cooney who scored two goals for the winners on his way to picking up the man of the match award just forty eight hours after helping the Clare minor footballers qualify for the Provincial semi-final when he was their top scorer with a haul of 0-5 in their win over Tipperary.
Cooney’s involvement in this evenings cup final surprised St.Pats followers as they lined out without four members of the Clare minor football squad who are part of their panel. The minor footballers trained on Friday evening.
The game was forty minutes old before the opening goal was registered and it was St. Pats who took the lead when Danny Clancy drilled the ball low to the corner of the net. The lead lasted just three minutes before Ronan Lanigan pounced for the equaliser. In fairness, the Ennis side would surely have scored earlier but St. Pats goalie Norbert Kunicki produced some outstanding saves.
He continued to deny the winners after the break and he produced another outstanding stop five minutes into the new half. A minute later, however, he could do nothing to deny Mark McInerney from putting Avenue in front.
This goal sparked off a great spell for the winners and in the space of a minute Gavin Cooney scored twice to put his side 4-1 in front by the thirteenth minute of the half. Team captain Sean Doherty was introduced two minutes later and he signalled his arrival when he scored Avenue United’s fifth goal at the mid point of the half.
To their credit St. Pats did not throw in the towel and they were unlucky not to pull one back in the twenty fifth minutes when substitute Billy Clancy’s effort beat Johnnie Ryan in the Avenue goal but rebounded off the upright into Ryan’s arms
Ten minutes from time they pulled one back when Danny Clancy drilled a 30 free to the corner of the net and he alomost completed a hat trick with five minutes remaining but Ryan produced a great save.
After the game Clare league treasurer Frankie Gormley and chairman Oliver Fitzpatrick presented the medals to both teams and the cup to the winners as well as the man of the match award to Gavin Cooney.
Avenue United; Johnnie Ryan; Cullen McCabe, Kevin O’Connor, Conor McDade, Cathal Darcy, Brian Downey, EoghanThynne, Mark McInerney, Jamie Roche, Gavin Cooney;
Subs; Sean Doherty for Lanigan; Bruce Pigott for Thynne; Manus Doherty for Cooney; Colm O’Brien for McInerney’ Aaron O’Brien for Roche
St. Pats; Norbert Kinicki; Paudie Hehir, Chris Hehir, Sean Conway, Dean Neary, Davy Martin, Danny Clancy, Mark Shannon, Kevin Tubridy, Stephen Heith, Dylan Downes.
Subs; Billy Clancy for Neary; John Finnucane for Downes; Cathal Murray for C. Hehir
By Seamus Hayes