Coachford v Grattan vie for the biggest prize of all - the AOH Cup

Coachford v Grattan vie for the biggest prize of all - the AOH Cup

Coachford captain Aidan Buckley (left) and Grattan United's John Paul O'Sullivan displays the AOH Cup at Turner's Cross. Both sides will play in the final on Friday, June 3.

ON Friday evening, Turner’s Cross will host the Cork AUL Blue Ribbon cup final when both Coachford and Grattan United come together to challenge for the biggest prize of all in AUL football – the AOH Cup at 7pm.

And with so much quality in both those sides, we should be in for a cracking affair.

These two have proven to be the best sides in the Cork AUL and will both be going for a double on the night.

Coachford, champions already of the Premiership will be hoping to add another trophy to their cabinet with a win against Grattan on Friday.

Then, Grattan United have already won the Mossie Linnane league cup early on in the season so, a win on Friday evening would certainly add gloss to their trophy cabinet also.

Let’s take a look at the pathways that both these sides had to take to reach Friday’s final.

For Coachford, it was a home game in the first round back in early September where they swept past Central Rovers 9-0 to reach the second round.

They were then drawn against their very close neighbours – Coachford B and ran out 4-0 winners at the Glebe, but not after their B side gave it a right go.

Tom Fitzgearld, Chairman Cork AUL with Cllr Fergal Dennehy, deputising for the Lord Mayor at the Cork AUL 75th anniversary celebration that was held at the Metropole Hotel, Cork. - Picture David Creedon
Tom Fitzgearld, Chairman Cork AUL with Cllr Fergal Dennehy, deputising for the Lord Mayor at the Cork AUL 75th anniversary celebration that was held at the Metropole Hotel, Cork. - Picture David Creedon

A third round draw away in Killeady against Richmond was next up for the Premier side and despite Richmond putting up a terrific effort, Coachford advanced into the quarter-final stage of the competition 3-1.

They were then drawn away to St. John Boscos down in Dungourney and ran out comfortable 5-1 winners in the end to qualify for a clash with City Wanderers in the semi-final.

Then, in what was a below-par tie at the Farm, one goal separated the two sides as Coachford ran out 1-0 winners against Wanderers in the end to reach this season’s final.

For Grattan, it was a second round tussle at home against Blackstone Rovers back in October where they came out on top 4-1.

They were then drawn away to Greenmount Rangers for their third round tie where they came out on top 4-0 at Murphy’s Farm to reach the quarter-final.

At Glenthorn Celtic, it had to go to extra time before Grattan booked their place in the semi-final with a meeting against holders Village United.

Then, recently at the Farm, John Paul O’Sullivan’s penalty conversion was the difference between Village and themselves as Grattan booked their spot against Coachford in Friday’s final.

Let’s take a look at the personnel in both sides now.

In local competition, the two teams have only lost once so, this speaks volume about the quality in those teams.

But, let’s begin with Grattan first and between the sticks they have James Byrne who is a solid and reliable net-minder that is sharp and decisive with his decision making.

At the back, they have a very solid pairing at the heart of their defence in the shape of Anthony Byrne and Harry Goulding.

These two have a great understanding with a no-nonsense approach.

Then, in the full-back positions they can call on Aaron Broderick who is always willing to advance and help out in attack as well as possess the pace to retreat with haste when need be.

Eric Fleming is a competent defender also and does a very good job at left-full as well as possesses a sweet delivery with his free kicks.

In the attacking areas, John Paul O’Sullivan has certainly proven more times than once that he can be a handful up front as well as having a very keen eye for goal.

Tom Fitzgearld, Chairman Cork AUL receiving a presentation from Helen Noonan from the Cork Womens and Schoolgirl League at the Cork AUL 75th anniversary celebration that was held at the Metropole Hotel, Cork. - Picture David Creedon
Tom Fitzgearld, Chairman Cork AUL receiving a presentation from Helen Noonan from the Cork Womens and Schoolgirl League at the Cork AUL 75th anniversary celebration that was held at the Metropole Hotel, Cork. - Picture David Creedon

And in the wide areas, Gary Coughlan and Cian Hawkins can provide plenty of quality down the channels while in midfield, Michael Kent and Keith Harris are excellent at breaking up play for the likes of Christopher Bullman who can take advantage of any kind of space made available to him.

Over in the Coachford camp, Stephen Murray has certainly proven to be so reliable in goal and is an excellent shot-stopper while Keith Linzell and Aidan Buckley have shown how solid they can be together in forming the backbone to what is a fairly water-tight defence.

Matthew Bradley is an excellent full back who is not shy to go forward in search of a goal and with Billy Casey over in the right, Coachford have two excellent young defenders.

In the centre, Evan O’Sullivan has been superb all season and with Michael O’Regan as well as Adam Murphy, these three can really open defences up at will with their skill, pace and ability to thread these telling passes through.

Helping David Thompson up front then is Cialan O’Sullivan who is terrific at using his pace to deliver quality ball into the danger areas and can get on the end of goals himself quite regularly also.

Providing added assistance then is Declan Keating who can cause plenty of problems also.

Both sides have plenty in reserve to call upon if need be.

So, the scene looks set for what promises to be a terrific cup final between two excellent junior sides on Friday evening.

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