Monday 22 January 2018

Glory for Guaire over the border

Cup victory in debut season

Daniel Gorman in Rathnew

Desmond Woolohan (right) grabs the winner for FC Guaire
Desmond Woolohan (right) grabs the winner for FC Guaire
F.C. Guaire celebrate their Charlie Byrne Cup success in Wicklow.

FC Guaire marked their debut season in the Wicklow Football League with the Charlie Byrne Cup thanks to a sole Desmond Wolohan strike at Shamrock Park, Rathnew.

FC Guaire 1 MK Dons 0

This final seemed to have extra-time plastered all over it until a brilliant move saw Liam Carroll deliver an inch-perfect cross to allow Wolohan to strike a devastating blow that ended any hopes MK Dons had of a double.

Wolohan has plundered over 30 goals this season but he left his best 'til last as Guaire brought the curtain down on their debut season with promotion and the Byrne Cup to show for their efforts.

It proved to be an afternoon to forget for Dons, who ended the tie with ten men and had to play star man Ed Dunne in goals for the last six minutes.

Guaire almost took a spectacular lead inside five minutes. James Graham flicked on a long punt and James Mordaunt caught his shot very sweetly, which forced a flying save from Mark Harte who managed to turn it behind.

A long ball at the other end almost led to a slapstick goal. Guaire goalkeeper Seán Roche flew off his line and looked set to be punished until Dons' Luke Walker and Alan O'Neill got in each other's way and Roche could breathe again.

Roche was living on the edge again as he raced out to claim a cross from the left but when he missed it, Dons' Robbie Hughes missed the target and the shot-stopper once again survived.

The Dons thought they'd hit the front on 25 minutes. Dunne delivered the corner from the right and it was dummied by the front runner before being flicked goalwards by David Moorehouse. He then watched in slow motion as it bobbled a yard wide of the far post.

Richie Neary then spurned the first of two glorious chances. Hughes made a burst from midfield and poked through for his fellow midfielder but Neary fluffed his shot and it trickled into Roche's arms.

Dunne then whipped in a peach of a free-kick and found Neary in space at the back post but Neary sent his header flying over the crossbar.

A speculative effort from MK's Keith Ryan had Roche scrambling backwards just before the hour mark and then Guaire attacked as Wolohan slipped in James Graham, who stung the fingertips of Harte but got nothing more for his effort.

The Wexford side were doing all the pushing as the match crept towards the latter stages. A cross from Graham was then hooked into the air by Dons defender Stephen Forde. Harte darted out to try to clean up but he couldn't and when it fell to Wolohan, the Dons feared the worst. However, the post saved them.

The woodwork could not protect them in the 80th minute though. Graham surged out of defence and slid a clever pass down the right for Carroll. He only had one man to aim for in the middle but his pinpoint cross found him and Wolohan's finish did not disappoint as his header looped into the far corner to land his side the Charlie Byrne Cup.

F.C. Guaire: Seán Roche, Wayne Murphy, Frank Bellanova, Dylan Moore, Brian McDermott, Craig Travers, Liam Carroll, Colm Stafford, James Mordaunt, Desmond Wolohan, James Graham. Subs. - Cillian Butler for Murphy (78), Darren Curran for Travers (90+2). Not used: Robert Molloy, Danny Whitty, Matthew Murray.

MK Dons: Mark Harte, Edward Dunne, Seán Garvey, David Moorehouse, Kevin Moorehouse, Keith Ryan, Richie Neary, Robbie Hughes, Tom Kavanagh, Luke Walker, Alan O'Neill. Subs. - Stephen Flynn for Garvey (19), Stephen Forde for Walker (31), Wayne Kenny for Kavanagh (80). Not used: Ian Dempsey, Paddy Hayden, John P. Smith, John Roche.

Referee: Seamus Byrne.

Wexford People

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