Campile to face Taghmon in first Over-35 Cup final
Campile United 2 Duncannon 1
Danescastle was the venue for the second semi-final of the Richie Dwyer Over-35 Cup on Saturday, and the large crowd were not disappointed.
It was a thrilling game with end-to-end action as both teams dominated possession at various stages, and but for poor finishing and some outstanding saves, this game could easily have produced more goals.
Campile were quickest out of the traps and spurned some good chances early on, the first from John Whitty after five minutes when he blazed over.
Shortly after a great ball from Owen Barron left Dessie Wallace with only the 'keeper to beat, but he pulled the shot wide of the target. The early Campile dominance continued and moments later, Owen Barron again with only the 'keeper to beat saw his ferocious shot rebound off the crossbar.
More Campile pressure saw Jim Wall with a poor first touch which forced him wide and another chance went abegging.
One got the sense that it wasn't going to be Campile's day as Duncannon weathered the early storm and began to grow into the game. With Johnny Kinsella in midfield and the lively Pat Chapman up front, they began to get to grips with the enormity of the task at hand, and did trouble the Campile goalkeeper on 25 minutes.
The shot was straight at him though and so the teams went for their half-time break all square, with Duncannon no doubt the happier of the two.
The second-half proved to be a much cagier affair with both teams a little subdued for the opening moments. Campile had a lot of possession but Duncannon looked very dangerous on the break, with Campile playing a high defensive line.
A few offside decisions from these high lines should have served as a warning to Campile as Duncannon began to look very dangerous on the break, and so it proved in the 13th minute when the long ball over the top was squared back across the goal and was brilliantly struck on the half volley by Pat Chapman.
Colin Parle was wrong-footed in the Campile goal but to the amazement of everybody, he somehow managed to adjust and one-handed he turned the ball around the post to keep the game scoreless.
Sometimes the goal-scorers get all the plaudits, but there is no doubt this was a game-changing moment and Campile can be thankful to their 'keeper for a wonderful save.
For the next ten minutes or so it was all Duncannon as Dominic Foley spurned an equally good chance when one-on-one with the 'keeper.
Campile were now at times playing the counter-attacking football, and with Alan Myler in midfield, Martin Nolan and Jim Wall up front, they kept Frank Barden and Nico Chapman on their toes.
The game was destined for extra-time and so it proved with neither team willing to take any risks in the last few moments.
The first period of extra-time again saw Campile start the stronger and a dangerous ball was scrambled to safety early on before Campile finally broke through for the opening goal.
Six minutes into extra-time, James Keating picked the ball up outside the box, dropped the shoulder and left two Duncannon defenders in his wake.
The onrushing Nico Chapman could do nothing Keating coolly finished to the net to give Campile the lead to the delight of the their supporters.
The second period of extra-time saw Campile now controlling a lot of possession, and they won a penalty when Jim Wall was bundled down in the box with six minutes to go.
Alan Myler stepped up and dispatched the spot kick to give Campile a 2-0 lead, and that's how it finished as they booked their place in the inaugural Cup final.
Duncannon will be disappointed but can hold their heads up high, as the club which our great friend Richie Dwyer helped to establish did him proud.
We have no games scheduled for next weekend as it's the bank holiday. The final round of league games will take place on August 11 at 7.30 p.m. (referees T.B.C.): Raheen v. All Blacks; Taghmon United v. Fastnet Rovers; Corach Ramblers v. Campile United; Kilmore United v. Duncannon.