Fanad United dashed Letterkenny Rovers’ hopes of a domestic clean sweep after coming from behind to secure a deserved victory in the Colin Breslin Cup final following a tough battle at Diamond Park Ballyare on Friday evening.
Fanad United 2
Letterkenny Rovers 1
After a tepid opening in which a Sean Daffan save from a Jack Blake header for Rovers on the stroke of half-time was the only effort on target, the game sprung into life when the Letterkenny men took the lead in the 56th minute.
Gavin McDaid found Gareth Doherty and his throughball sent Ryan McCloskey away and he coolly shot home low into the Fanad net from 12 yards giving ‘keeper Daffan no chance.
The game opened up after this with Conor Matthewson having a long range effort on the hour, which flew just wide and with James McCahill in dominant form, Fanad got back into the game in the 73rd minute. A Conor Blaney corner to the far post was met by McCahill and he couldn’t miss tapping in from two yards out.
Fanad almost took the lead just three minutes later when an Oisin Hassett shot struck the base of goalkeeper Jason Quinn’s post. Following sustained Fanad pressure it was Rovers who nearly stole the game in the last minute of normal time.
A wonderful free kick from Doherty got the slightest of touches from Liam Blaney, who directed the ball goalwards but it was somehow cleared by the Fanad defence which meant we had to go to extra-time.
Indeed Letterkenny could have gone in front on 92 minutes but for a great clearance from Conor McGonagle, who got a challenge in to deny Kevin O’Donnell what would have been a certain goal before the title winner arrived for the Traigh-a-Loch men on 95 minutes.
It was a move made in Newtoncunningham as Hassett played a lovely ball through to Matthewson and his neat finish low past Quinn was to prove the catalyst for unbridled celebration amongst the Fanad management and supporters.
Letterkenny did try hard to get the equaliser with Daffan pulling off a save low to his right to deny substitute Marty Vance. Rovers also had a number of free-kicks which had the Fanad defence under some pressure but with Daffan and Kyle Burke in magnificent form Fanad held out to deservedly lift the Colin Breslin Cup
Fanad United: Sean Daffan, Conor McGonagle, Joe Friel, (Darragh Harper 46) Caolan McDaid, Kyle Burke, Dean McCarry, Keelan McElwaine (Oran Hilley 70), James McCahill (Michael Patton 100), Oisin Hassett, Conor Matthewson (Ben McBride 107), Conor Blaney (Gavin Grier 93).
Letterkenny Rovers: Jason Quinn, Ryan McLoughlin, Noah Mailey, Liam Blaney, Jack Blake, Gareth Doherty, Simon McGlynn (Brandon Toye 100), Dylan Sweeney (Luke Nelis 100), Gavin McDaid (Marty Vance 85), Ryan McCloskey, Kevin O’Donnell,
Referee: Vincent McLaughlin