CBL Champions Super Cup Quarter-Final Result
Postal Workers 3 – 2 Marlboro Trust (AET)
COMPETITION favourites Postal Workers needed all their never say die qualities to remain in the CBL Champions Super Cup after been pushed all the way by an excellent Marlboro outfit whose first-half performance should have put them out of sign but for the inspirational Tom Archer between the sticks for the Workers, writes Finbarr Buckley.
Marlboro started the quicker of the two sides and Joe Monaghan’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was pushed behind by Tom Archer – who would go on to have a man-of-the-match display in the Workers’ goal. Postal struggled to contain Trust’s trio in the middle of Jason Coughlan, David McCarthy and Shane O’Riordan and Aidan Kelleher’s charges got another chance as Pat McSweeney forced a low save out of Archer.
Trust continued to create chances, centre-forward Derek Nolan the next to be kept out by Archer, this time the keeper getting down to his right to prevent Marlboro from taking a deserved lead. Finally, in the 28th minute, the pressure told as Mark O’Donnell’s free-kick inside his own half was met by Pat McSweeney whose downward header was blasted to the back of the net by Monaghan through a foray of legs.
Marlboro continued to set the pace for the remainder of the half and with Archer continuing his heroics between the posts, denying Coughlan and McSweeney in quick succession. Postal got into the game in the ten minutes before half-time and after spending most of the first 35 minutes on the back foot, finally got a foothold in the match. First, Andy Maher and Derry Hartnett combined to slip a pass past Andy Fitzpatrick and into the path of John Reid. He drilled the ball across the face of the goal but Paudie Morris at full strength was alert to the danger.
Then, Maher picked out Reid on the left with a wonderful diagonal. The league’s most decorated striker played in centre-forward Pat Hurley who laid the ball back to Derry Hartnett who blazed over.
Postal Workers manager Tony Daly and his assistant Harry Harte decided to ring the changes to pack more punch with a double half-time change as John Browne came in in the middle and Ger Frahill upfront.
Early in the second-half Archer kept his man-of-the-match performance intact with another fine save, pushing away a close-range header from a corner from Trust captain Mark O’Donnell. At the other end, Reid drilled a low shot inches past Morris’ left-hand post.
Maher guided a side-footed effort wide of the post as Postal enjoyed their best spell so far midways through the second 45. Lester then guided a superb cross from Reid into the far corner to level up the scores as the match entered it’s last fifteen minutes. With Kelleher frantically issuing instructions from the side-line, the match ended with Trust back on top, Archer still having to be at his best, this time scooping clear a downward header from David McCarthy.
Morris would be called into action as the first period of extra- time wore on, matching the magnificence of Archer to keep out centre-back Tony Guest from a corner.
Marlboro substitute Paul Draper struck the angle of the goal frame with a vicious strike before the underdogs went ahead again right on the stroke of half-time as Philip Clifford’s short pack-pass to Archer was pounced upon by Monaghan who slipped the ball under the advancing keeper for grateful substitute Eric Montgomery to apply the tap-in finish.
The Workers went straight up the other side to force a corner from which Lester planted a header onto the crossbar, referee Barry Kearney immediately pointing to the corner-flag, correctly spotting that Morris had touched the ball with his finger-tips. Again, Lester rose highest to direct another header towards the crossbar. With Morris out of position, the alert Ger Frahill headed into the empty net with five minutes of extra-time remaining.
After Marlboro expended so much energy throughout, it was Postal who were looking most likely to win it at the death, and win they did! A long ball from Timmy Donovan broke between Reid and Brian Gilhooley. With the ball running towards the end-line, Reid wrapped his foot around it to cross for Pat Hurley to lash the ball past the excellent Morris for what would prove to be the winner of a gripping encounter.
Postal boss Tony Daly was relieved at the finish, saying,’ What a match! We hung on but only just.’ His opposite number Aidan Kelleher was bitterly disappointed, commenting, ‘ We gave it everything but we’re up against the best, you can only do your best.’
Postal Workers: Tom Archer: Philip Clifford (Denis O’Leary), John McGrath; Jerry Browne (Tim Donovan), Tony Guest; Pat Lester (capt.), Derry Hartnett (John Browne), Andy Maher; Pat Hurley, Tom Barry (Ger Frahill), John Reid.
Marlboro Trust: Paudie Morris: Andy Fitzpatrick, Dave O’Brien (Steve Moynihan); Brian Gilhooley, Mark O’Donnell (capt.); Jason Coughlan (Paul Draper), David McCarthy, Shane O’Riordan (Gonzalo Santos); Derek Nolan (Jeff McCann), Joe Monaghan, Pat McSweeney (Eric Montgomery).
Referee: Barry Kearney Assistant Referees: Tony Thompson, Con Dineen. Fourth Official: John Sweeney.