COACHFORD were leading 1-0 in the Mossie Linnane Cup final against Grattan United at Turner's Cross on Sunday morning when a prolonged melee broke out on the pitch with three minutes to go which left the referee Richard O'Gorman with no option but to abandon the game.
The game itself was highly competitive between the two best teams in the Premier League with Grattan edging the first 45, despite Coachford getting two good chances while Coachford looked the stronger in the second period.
And with just minutes in, Matthew Bradley’s delivery from a free kick arrived off a Grattan defender for Adam Murphy, but he could not get his foot properly around the ball to make his strike count near goal.
Then, after Stephen Murray had to deal with a dangerous free kick from David Curtin, John Paul O’Sullivan just failed to get a vital touch on Christy O’Driscoll’s low cross into the box.
Grattan pressed again with Aaron Broderick playing it on for Christy O’Driscoll whose intended cross for John Paul O’Sullivan was intercepted sharply by Stephen Murray.
And when Coachford were awarded a free kick, Matthew Bradley unleashed a forceful effort that made Tommy Martin work to collect.
Minutes later, Adam Murphy headed into the arms of Martin from Aidan Buckley’s free-kick before a loose clearance from Martin came into the path of Adam Murphy who took a steadying touch before lifting his effort over from 20.
A disguised ball around the corner from Gary Coughlan almost played in John Paul O’Sullivan, but Mark Murphy came to his side’s rescue to produce a timely block.
But, despite Grattan edging the contest, a great chance fell for Coachford’s Jack Murphy who was not on the pitch long when he was played through by a weighted pass into space from Evan O’Sullivan, but the substitute dragged his effort wide with only Tommy Martin to beat.
Another great chance fell for Coachford just before the break.
After defending from a free kick, Matthew Bradley embarked on a run up the left flank before crossing low for Jack Murphy who ballooned his effort over to miss a gilt-edge chance.
Coachford started the second period with a purpose and soon threatened when Ryan Leahy played it short for Mark Murphy and when Murphy’s cross was cleared, it arrived for Evan O’Sullivan who fired over with a decent effort.
Then, Coachford nosed in front when after applying further pressure, Evan O’Sullivan helped it on for Jack Murphy who made up for his earlier misses when he blazed home to fire his side in front on nine minutes.
Coachford looked in control now and nearly grabbed a second when Evan O’Sullivan crossed low for Cialan O’Sullivan whose first-time effort was blocked by Tommy Martin.
Another chance fell for Coachford when Matthew Bradley’s free floated in for Mark Murphy who leaped highest to send his header narrowly over.
And when Jack Murphy’s cross came for the advancing Matthew Bradley, the full-back’s effort came off Anthony Peelo for a corner.
From Matthew Bradley’s corner, Keith Linzell headed goalwards from a narrow angle – only to see Mark O’Sullivan who was in the right place, cushion the ball down to the direction of Tommy Martin.
A cross then from Jack Murphy came for Matthew Bradley who failed to get his shot away cleanly, following an attempt on the half-volley.
Soon afterward, play was disrupted, after a melee broke out on the pitch which resulted in the final being abandoned.
An investigation by the Cork AUL into the incident will follow which will determine the outcome of the competition.
Stephen Murray, Darragh Lynch, Martin Bradley, Aidan Buckley, Keith Linzell, Adam Murphy, Evan O’Sullivan, Mark Murphy, Michael O’Regan, Cialan O’Sullivan, Ryan Leahy.
Jack Murphy for Michael O’Regan (38), Billy Casey for Ryan Leahy (70), Michael O’Sullivan for Darragh Lynch (80), Mark O’Connor for Mark Murphy (87).
Tommy Martin, Anthony Peelo, David Curtin, Harry Goulding, John Paul Long, Anthony O’Callaghan, Michael Kent, Aaron Broderick, John Paul O’Sullivan, Christy O’Driscoll, Gary Coughlan.
Mark O’Sullivan for John Paul O’Sullivan (half-time), Eric Fleming for Anthony O’Callaghan (60), Ryan Towler for Christy O’Driscoll (78).
Alan Belmajoub, Tony Thompson and Grahame Duffy.