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Paul Fay’s young Aquinas side fall short but prove they will be a force to be reckoned with

Nelson Cup joy for tireless St Matthew’s

By Staff Reporter
St Matthew's 3 -- Aquinas 1

St Matthew’s won the Nelson Cup for the first time in the club’s history with a hard fought victory over a very talented, young Aquinas side.

It was a great night for a final under the floodlights at Solitude and the spectators definitely got good value for their money.

Early on the Prigent brothers, Paul and Liam, started to stake their claim in the game.

The opening chance of the game fell to Aquinas but St Matt’s goalkeeper Gibson produced a magnificent save – one of many for the big man.

St Matt’s started to dominate after that and a great piece of play involving McCrory, Curran and Prigent fizzled out while Pollock’s great cross into Boyle was cleared by the Aquinas rearguard.

St Matt’s took the lead soon after when Curran scored a goal good enough to win any game, with a stunning left footed volley that went in off the underside of the bar.

Aquinas leveled from a free-kick that was initially saved by Gibson, but Conor Geogeghan chipped over the stranded keeper with the rebound, despite Turley’s best efforts to clear. Half-time: 1-1.

With a few stern words from stand in managers O’Kane and Walsh still ringing in their ears St Matt’s dominated the opening of the second half.

Chances fell to Paul and Liam Prigent after good work from target man Boyle.

It wasn’t long before St Matt’s took the lead when Les McCrory sent a great cross into Boyle who was bundled over for a penalty, which team captain L Prigent coolly dispatched.

Aquinas started to throw everything at St Matt’s with Ben Leonard a threat but the back line of Smyth, Coleman, Turley and McCrory, well-marshalled by keeper Gibson, soaked up the pressure.

Another great cross from McCrory looked to have put in Black only for his touch to let him down.

Catney and Napier replaced the tiring Black and Pollock who had run themselves into the ground.

Aquinas were denied a goal when Turley heroically slid in to block a shot and send it out for a corner.

McVeigh replaced Boyle up front after he started to cramp up after his tireless performance.

Catney started to make a nuisance of himself and he was involved in the next goal when he found L Prigent who passed to McVeigh and he made no mistake.

To the credit of Aquinas they never gave up and still managed to rattle the crossbar from a free-kick in the dying minutes.

Stand in St Matt’s managers O’Kane and Walsh were thrilled with the win.

“We started the season with a few targets. We put a second team into the league, got ourselves our own pitch and set up a two-year plan to push ourselves towards Amateur League status” said O’Kane.

“To win the Nelson Cup in the first season is really unbelievable.

“We want to thank everyone who showed up at Solitude to support us and got behind the team from the first minute until the last.”


ST MATTHEW’S: Ciaran Gibson, Patrick Smyth, Patrick Turley, Sean Coleman, Les McCrory, Liam Pollock, Paul Prigent, Liam Prigent (c), Kieran Curran, Ciaran Boyle, Steven Black. Subs: Tony Catney, Michael McVeigh, Stephen Napier, Seamus Fitzsimons, Joe Murrdock.


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