Swan & Cygnet-Vodka United 3
THE longest-running charity match in the country reached its 50th year climax when the Swan & Cygnet-Vodka United scored a 3-2 win over the Outpost at College Corinthians’ Castletreasure grounds on Tuesday.
The annual Christmas fixture notched up half-a-century of matches and raised over £250,000 euro in the process for various charities in the city with the Children’s Leukaemia Fund based at CUH the main beneficiary.
A host of sporting legends including Jimmy Barry Murphy along with Billy Morgan, Dinny Allen, Carl Davenport, Tony Hennessy, Damien Richardson and Jimmy Kerrigan graced the game over its five decades.
The Outpost had the better of the first half action and were good value for their one goal half-time lead thanks to Stephen Young’s strike.
Vodka’s Kieran Walsh forced a good save from Killian O’Donovan and, at the other end his brother, Conor cleared off the line just before the break.
Centre-forward Willie O’Brien made it 1-1 with a neat finish early in the second half before Vodka’s Sean Concannon made a fine save to deny Young again.
The Swan grew into the game and O’Donovan saved with his feet to stop O’Brien, but mid-way through the second half, O’Brien netted again to give the Swan & Cygnet a 2-1 advantage.
Midfield maestro Alan O’Hare made it 3-1 from O’Brien’s lay-off before the winners had another goal from Cian Blake chalked off after the ball had run over the end-line.
The last goal of the day came from an Outpost penalty tucked home by young Adam Heaney-Mulcahy making it 3-2 at the final whistle.
Mulcahy became the youngest goal-scorer in the 50-year history of the Peter Rodgers Memorial Shield competition at nine years of age.
In a break with tradition, Vodka’s skipper Larry O’Neill switched sides after half-time and ended up playing for both teams.
Vodka’s drive for five ended in disappointment in the 48th edition of the fixture but, fittingly, they won this final chapter in a five-goal thriller refereed by the legendary Pat Kelly.
Vodka Utd - Sean Concannon; Mark Woods, Declan O’Mahony, Noel Connolly, Eddie O’Hare; Cian Blake, Pat Mahon, Alan O’Hare, Larry O’Neill; Willie O’Brien, Kieran Walsh.
Subs. Derek O’Leary, Timmy Singleton, Conor Walsh, Dave Reardon, Brian Walsh and Mark Reardon.
Outpost - Killian O’Donovan; Pat O’Neill, Tony O’Donovan, Stephen Morrissey, Alan O’Flynn; Jason Mulcahy, Cian Anderson, Dave Young, Conor O’Donovan; Stephen Young, Paul O’Flynn and Dave Murphy.
Referee: Pat Kelly.