CIE Athletic v MCM, Saturday, March 7th 2021, Showgrounds, kick-off 3pm
THIS is the one tie that brings together two teams from totally different eras with the nucleus of the great CIE treble team of the late sixties fortified by additions from their knockout specialists’ edition of the late seventies, early eighties taking on Ken O’Callaghan’s MCM who blossomed midways through the first decade of the 2000s to become a formidable outfit, writes Finbarr Buckley.
Athletic’s strengths lie in defence and upfront. Peter Gregson, a goalkeeper with English league and League of Ireland experience and a great servant of the club is well protected by a solid back-four which includes lighting quick full-back Chris McCarthy and a choice in central defence with players of the calibre of Hughie Barriscale, Noel Kelleher, Davie Desmond and John O’Regan. But, it’s their strike force that catches the eye with a range of quality in abundance. Greats of the sixties, Tommy Murphy, Thomas Hawkins and Paddy Busteed must surely feel confident with the additions of Pat Downey and John Deasy from their latter team. Pat Downey remains one of only two players playing in the league at the time of their selections to be capped Irish amateur level.
MCM have a fine blend of skill and speed at the back in full-backs Jeff Nnaji and Sean Murphy while central defenders Kevin O’Shea, Adrian Evans and Nigel Thornhill are capable of breaking from the back at pace. Tom Frawley captains the side from the centre of the park and is an ideal leader whose heading and passing are immaculate. Tom went on to achieve huge success later with Marlboro Trust but having started out with MCM he is a worthy selection for his first club. Pat O’Flynn, Rodney Macken, Jerry O’Reilly, Mark Campion, Shane Donoghue and Tommy Ode are all in the mix to be on the end of whatever goal-scoring chances come their way.
Another great friend of the league, Barry Kearney is appointed to referee in the centre and is accompanied by assistant referees, Bill Killeackey and Connie Long and fourth official Frank Hourigan.
CIE Athletic (Panel for CBL Champions Super Cup)
Goalkeeper(s): Peter Gregson.
Defenders: Chris McCarthy, Jerry Sheehan, Davie Desmond (capt.), Noel Kelleher, Hughie Barriscale, John O’Regan.
Midfielders: Donal O’Leary, Patsy McCormack, Dommie Murphy, Noel Kent, Ger Power,
Strikers: Tommy Murphy, Henry O’Connor, Thomas Hawkins, Paddy Busteed, Pat Downey, John Deasy.
Manager(s): Jackie Carroll, Joe Harrington and John Donovan.
MCM (Panel for CBL Champions Super Cup)
Goalkeeper(s): Olan Lynch, Rob McCarthy.
Defenders: Jeff Nnaji, Sean Murphy, Kevin O’Shea, Adrian Evans, Nigel Thornhill.
Midfielders: Tom Frawley (capt.), Mark Martin, Donnacha McCarthy, Tim Dennehy, Denis Hickey.
Strikers: Pat O’Flynn, Rodney Macken, Jerry O’Reilly, Mark Campion, Tommy Ode, Shane Donoghue.
Manager: Ken O’Callaghan. Assist. Manager: Kevin O’Keeffe.