Two goals from Kevin ‘Wappa’ McMenamin ensured that Kilmacrennan Celtic ended their Saturday League season with some silverware with victory over the cup holders at Flag Pole Field, Rathmullan yesterday evening.
Report: Diarmaid Doherty
Photographs: Conor McGonagle
Glencar were going for a third Downtown Cup win in succession but in some repects they were guilty of their own downfall. They created a number of good chances themselves and with the game level at 1-1 going into the final 17 minutes, they squandered a great chance to go in front when Anthony Doherty’s penalty kick was saved by Kilmacrennan keeper, Mark Gallagher.
Within five minutes, McMenamin produced a wonderful finish to put Kilmacrennan 2-1 in front and Darren McGinley sealed the victory with a third right at the finish.
These two sides had met twice in the league this season and drawn both games, so this was always going to be a close cup final.
But it was Kilmacrennan who drew first blood when after only six minutes, they took the lead. Glencar gave the ball way on half way and McMenamin took full advantage, racing clear of his man and sliding the ball into the net past keeper, Paddy Rafferty.
McMenamin and his strike partner, Darren McGinley, were a constant threat to the Glencar back-line and Rafferty had produced a brave challenge to deny McMenamin a second midway through the half.
At that stage, Glencar had created a couple of very good chances of their own. Twice Anthony Doherty went close – both at set-piece situations. He headed one free kick into the arms of keeper, Mark Gallagher and soon after flicked another delivery just wide of the post.
Glencar striker Shane Hilley also had a goal ruled out for offside much to the frustration of his team-mates.
But Glencar’s pressure eventually paid dividends when from another free kick on the edge of the area, Marty Brogan curled a delightful effort round the wall and inside the far post.
In the second half, Paddy Rafferty was much the busier of the two goalkeepers and he produced two excellent saves to deny McMenamin from a free kick and then Sean O’Donnell from close range.
The game then seemed set to swing in Glencar’s favour when Eugene Sullivan was brought down in the area by keeper, Gallagher. But Anthony Doherty’s penalty kick was saved by the keeper in what was the game’s big turning point.
After that, the wind seemed to go out of Glencar’s sails and Kilmacrenan finished much the stronger, scoring two late goals to take the cup.
Glencar Celtic: Paddy Rafferty, Garvan Grieve, Noel Malseed, Chris Malseed, Anthony Doherty, Marty Brogan, Keith Malseed, Eugene Sullivan, Michael Molloy, Shane Hilley (Stephen Browne 87), Decky Scanlon.
Kilmacrennan Celtic: Mark Gallagher, Johnny Doherty, Gavin Gorman, Sean Sandilands, Gary Gorman, Marty Sweeney, James Gorman, Sean O’Donnell, Darren McGinley, Kevin McMenamin (Kevin McGinley 88), Paul McEldowney.
Referee: Paul Doherty. Assistants: Marty Quinn, Barry Hunter.
Man of the match
Kevin ‘Wappa’ McMenamin scored twice and was Kilmacrennan’s best player on the day. He produced a real touch of quality to dummy the goalkeeper to score his team’s second, just when it seemed this final was heading to extra time. A big, physical side, Kilmacrennan were also well served by Sean O’Donnell in midfield, Darren McGinley and Sean Budgie Sandilands at the back.
Man of the match was Glencar’s goalkeeper Paddy Rafferty, who produced a number of telling saves and played through the pain barrier after picking up an injury early in the game. Others who played well for Glencar were Chris Malseed, Eugene Sullivan and Shane Hilley.
The penalty miss by Glencar’s Anthony Doherty on 73 minutes. Had he scored from the spot, Glencar might well have gone on to win. But his effort was saved by Kilmacrenan keeper, Mark Gallagher and five minutes later, Glencar found themselves 2-1 down when McMenamin put Kilmacrennan back in front.
It was a busy day for Paul Doherty who had to book quite a number of players from both sides. He made the right call with the penalty decision when Sullivan was clearly fouled by the Kilmacrennan keeper. But there was some controversy early on when Glencar were denied a goal by a linesman’s flag.