JACK Walsh’s breathtaking finish in the 68th minute helped Innishvilla lift the AOH Cup following their 1-0 victory over Park United in a lively final at the Cross on Saturday night.
In a final that saw Park have the edge in the first half, Innishvilla showed what resilience and desire is all about as they came out in the second period with a much more determined approach and in the end, finished the stronger side along with securing the AOH Cup for the first time in their history.
Getting the nod for the man of the match was Innishvilla’s goal-scoring hero Jack Walsh who produced an almost flawless performance.
He was an inspiration to those around him, but above all – was pivotal in Innishvilla’s massive achievement against a good Park side.
The game started with a lively approach from both sides and it was Park who opened up the first opportunity when Cahill helped on for Colin Stack to test David Lynch with a low effort.
Stack was involved again moments later when his weighted pass reached the goal-bound Willie O’Brien, but a timely tackle from Ger Rice saved the day.
At the other end, a dangerous and deceptive delivery from a free kick by John Paul O’Mahony forced Fitzgibbon to tip over for a corner.
Park dallied in their efforts to clear from the ensuing corner and it was Shane Nolan who gathered from a loose ball before drilling over from 20 yards.
Soon afterwards, Fitzgibbon was relieved to see a clearance made from a rasping effort by Shane Nolan that cannoned off his chest.
Then, after a slick move by Park, Adam Sitini got himself in the way of a rifling volley from David Murphy to concede a corner.
Park came so close after that when Colin Stack’s cross was met by a first time volley by Paul Masterson which whistled agonisingly past the upright with Lynch beaten.
And when play switched to the other end, Jack Walsh changed direction before unleashing a low firm effort that brought a good save from Fitzgibbon.
And after John Paul O’Mahony forced Fitzgibbon to another low save, what a chance fell for Innishvilla when Jack Walsh found Kevin O’Crualaoi with a perfect pass, but the Innishvilla forward failed to beat Fitzgibbon with his dinking effort.
Nice build up play from Park then ensued which ended with Paul Masterson drilling wide with a low effort from 20 yards out.
Park came so close minutes later when Willie O’Brien fed Colin Stack who hooked agonisingly wide of the far post.
Park were in control now and when David Murphy gathered from Ger O’Neill, he swung a cross in for Cahill to head straight at David Lynch.
Innishvilla’s resolve was being rightly tested at this point and after a couple of corners in quick succession followed, a number of efforts cannoned of Innishvilla’s defenders as they threw their bodies on the line, before David Murphy saw his fizzing low effort blocked by Lynch.
And with just minutes to the break, a ball breaks off Masterson which came into the path of David Murphy who fired disappointingly wide from a favourable position.
Both sides started with a purpose as the second half took off and it was Innishvilla’s Jack Walsh who slammed the side-netting with a stinging low effort from a narrow angle.
A good chance then came Park’s way when Eamon O’Sullivan worked an accurate ball on for Cahill, but a top drawer interception by Brian Crowley ensured the danger was soon aborted.
Then, Innishvilla’s rear-guard was relieved to see David Murphy’s effort from a free kick flash narrowly past the upright.
But, Innishvilla started to impose their game a lot more and the decisive moment arrived when Jack Walsh slalomed past a couple of opponents before unleashing an unstoppable thunderbolt into the top corner which in the end sealed victory for the Innishannon side.
Park tried hard, but Innishvilla looked the stronger finishers in the end.
PARK UNITED: Ian Fitzgibbon, Liam McGrath, William O’Brien, Laurence O’Flynn, Michael Barrett, Ger O’Neill, David Murphy, Colin Stack, Shane Cahill, Paul Masterson, Eamon O’Sullivan.
Subs: Dylan Considine for Eamon O’Sullivan (69), Simon Bane for Colin Stack (80), Liam Keane for Liam McGrath (85).
INNISHVILLA: David Lynch, Denis O’Mahony, Adam Sitini, Alan O’Connor, Brian Crowley, Shane Nolan, Ger Rice, Jack Walsh, John Paul O’Mahoney, Kevin O’Crualaoi, Shane O’Sullivan.
Subs: Darragh Lordan for Shane O’Sullivan (80), Tony McKeown for Brian Crowley (86).
Referee: Paul O’Sullivan. Assistants: Richard Murphy, Eddie McNally and Dan Deady.