Mayfield United 1
A DEAN O’CONNELL goal was enough to clinch the Pop Keller Cup for Mayfield United at the expense of local rivals Leeds at O’Shea Park in Blarney on Friday.
In what was a close game overall; Mayfield’s first-half display and O’Connell’s strike gave them a half-time advantage and while Leeds upped the ante in the second half, they couldn’t break down a terrific Mayfield rearguard which had captain Ciarn Horgan and Sam O’Driscoll in top form.
The early exchanges were even enough and there were a couple of chances for each side. Six minutes in, Leeds went close when Kian O’Sullivan got on the end of a cross from the left, but his hooked effort back towards goal went wide at the far post.
Two minutes later Mayfield went even closer when a high ball over the top invited Christopher Hull to race clear and as Leeds keeper Darragh Newman left his line, the Mayfield man headed the bouncing ball over the netminder, but it went inches wide.
Just before the quarter-hour mark, O’Connell struck a low 25-yard free that forced Newman to make a routine save.
Midway through the half Leeds striker Oyemen Ayere broke clear, skipping past one challenge, but Horgan intervened to make a brilliant tackle as he was about to shoot.
Two minutes later, Mayfield broke the deadlock when O’Connell’s shot from outside the box was deflected into Hull’s path on the left side of the penalty area. His effort from a difficult
angle was blocked by Newman, but the ball fell nicely for O’Connell who continued his run into the penalty area, and he drove it home from 10 yards.
Mayfield grew in confidence after the goal and Hull tried his luck from the angle of the box on the left, but his effort lacked power and Newman gathered easily, while O’Connell tried another effort from outside the box which went wide.
Leeds pressed hard for an equaliser before the break and after some good build-up play, Ayere had a chance in the final minute, but O’Driscoll got a good block on his shot.
Mayfield had a half-chance within a minute of the restart, Hull controlled a high ball and fed O’Connell, but his effort flew high and wide.
Five minutes later a fine delivery from Leeds full-back Cian Coleman found Ayere, but he headed over. The same player had a low shot from the angle of the box after a corner broke to him, but Mayfield keeper Luke Mylod wasn’t troubled.
The Leeds forward had another effort on 70 minutes when he met Dylan Foley’s cross into the box from the right, but again Ayere’s effort went over.
Mayfield were under pressure at this point, though they defended stoutly while Gary Gould worked hard in midfield to help curb the Leeds threat.
The Ballyvolane side came close to an equaliser in the 73rd minute when Kenny O’Leary got on the end of a cross from the right, close to goal, but his shot was blocked by Mylod and struck a Mayfield defender before going out of for a corner.
It was a good spell for Leeds, but Mayfield weren’t without their chances either, and two minutes later Hull brought a fine save out of Newman who tipped over the Mayfield man’s well-struck shot from the right side of the penalty area.
Newman was in action again five minutes later when Hull flicked a header on to Robert Ryan-Regan inside the box on the right, but the keeper made another good save.
As Leeds poured forward in the final few minutes, gaps appeared in their rearguard and Hull broke free from just inside the Leeds half with two minutes remaining; he got a shot off but Newman took the string out of it and a Leeds defender got back to clear before the ball crossed the line.
Leeds kept going until the end, but Mayfield held firm to claim the trophy.
MAYFIELD UNITED: Adam Mylod, Mark Walsh, Tadgh O’Connell, Sam O’Driscoll, Cian Horgan, Jack Lowney, Gary Gould, Robert Ryan-Egan, Christopher Hull, Dean O’Connell, Rodrigo Moscoso.
Subs: Greg Kelly for Moscoso (72), Alex Daly-Walsh for Gould (89).
LEEDS: Darragh Newman, Cian Coleman, Colin Lemass, Robert O’Connor, Kenny Coleman, Dylan Foley, Kian O’Sullivan, Eric Murphy, Oyemen Ayere, Jordan O’Sullivan, Darren Murphy.
Subs: Kenny O’Leary for Kian O’Sullivan, Ciaran Hannafin for Murphy, (both 55) Alan Hosford for Lemass (85).
Referee: D Deady, assistants, D Daunt, P O’Sullivan.