Strand Celtic FC

Founded 1972

Co. Sligo

Nostalgia on cup final weekend as we look back at 2002 final

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Impressive Celtic complete Cup double in final

Strand Celtic.........3 Calry Celtic............1

By Michael Moran

STRAND Celtic returned to the Sligo/ Leitrim headquarters at MacSharry Park for the second time in a week on Friday night last, where a three-one victory over Premier Division side, Calry Celtic, saw them lift the Robert Cawley Memorial Cup.

With the McSharry & Foley trophy already safely tucked away after their win over Carbury F.C., Strand proved just too strong in the end for a gallant Calry side who offered some stubborn resistance and battled hard throughout.

Playing in the club’s first ever final, Calry conceded an early goal, but their resolve was such that they fought back to equality and were on top for the closing twenty-five minutes of the first-half.

However, Strand regained the lead somewhat against the run of play before the break and upped the pace and tempo of the game on the resumption to run out comfortable winners at the finish.

The Super League side showed two changes from the team which had lined out against Carbury, the cup-tied Liam Cashell returning to exert substantial influence in the centre of mid-field, while Dara McLynn-scorer of the winning goal in the McSharry & Foley decider-started on the left. Barry Carty and Brian McMorrow were on the substitutes bench as a result.

Strand couldn’t have asked for a better opening, Packie Callaghan giving them a 4th minute lead. Callaghan struck when Donagh Oates connected with a Damien Scanlon corner and glanced a header off the post. The ball eventually reached Callaghan outside the area and his shot struck a Calry defender before ending up in the back of the net.

Lesser teams may well have capitulated in such circumstances, but Calry had showed in beating Abbey United and Ballisodare United that they could put it up to some of the top Super League teams.

Marcel Gordan and Donagh Oates both went close to extending Strand’s lead and central defender, Mark Rooney, advanced to hit a free-kick which Calry ‘keeper, Adrian Wasson, touched onto his crossbar in the 14th minute, before the early pattern was turned on its head.

Calry’s David Clarke shot well wide on 19 minutes and three minutes later, Marcel Gordon was forced to head behind for a corner as Clarke crossed from the left.

The Premier Division outfit were now very much back in contention and they underlined that fact to potent effect in the 24th minute as Declan McGuinn caught a half-volley perfectly to crash the ball home from 30 yards, after a corner from Aidan McMoreland.

Four minutes later, McLynn lost possession to McMoreland and he forced Strand ‘keeper, Aidan Carty, to save a low shot.

Strand went back in front four minutes from half-time and it was cruel blow to Calry. Packie Callaghan’s cross caused problems in the Calry defence and when the ball went over the head of Pauric Kelly in the centre, former Sligo Rovers striker, Glen Shannon, pounced to calmly slot it beyond Wasson. Callaghan almost claimed a third in the dying minute as Wasson lost a shot from Shannon.

Strand played with much greater purpose in the second-half and Calry were endeavouring to introduce some fresh legs when Donagh Oates hit Strand’s third from a Damien Scanlon cross in the 61st minute.

That goal effectively ended the contest, though Aidan Carty had to push an Aidan Devaney free-kick behind five minutes later.

Donagh Oates headed over at the other end as he was left with a free header from a Mark Rooney free-kick, while Damien Scanlon was very unfortunate to see a great shot strike a post as a Liam Cashell header set him up.

Five minutes later, the crossbar denied Scanlon after Wasson spilled a John Lynch corner. Donagh Oates also struck a post as Strand continued in the ascendancy in the closing stages. Members of the Cawley family presented the Robert Cawley Memorial Cup at the end of the game.

Calry Celtic: Adrian Wasson, Aidan Devaney, Pauric Kelly, Eamon Kelly, Eamon McGettigan, Trevor Henry, Aidan McMoreland, Declan McGuinn, Michael Rooney, David Higgins, David Clarke. Subs-Eugene McSharry for Henry (61 mins), Andy McNasser for McGettigan (65 mins), Keith Davey for McMoreland (87 mins).

Strand Celtic: Aidan Carty, Jimmy Colreavy, Marcel Gordon, Mark Rooney, Lee Marshall, Liam Cashell, Packie Callaghan, Damien Scanlon, Donagh Oates, Glen Shannon, Dara McLynn. Subs-Brian McMorrow for McLynn (h.t.), John Lynch for Shannon (77 mins).

Referee: Hugh Kearns

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