Doolans Cow v Postal Workers, Saturday, April 17th 2021, Marina Park @ 3pm

IN what promises to be another fascinating semi-final between the league’s reigning champions Doolan’s Cow and record champions Postal Workers at Marina Pk., the reward for the winner is a duel in the sun with CIE Athletic to decide who will emerge as the greatest team in the seventy-year history of the CBL, writes Finbarr Buckley.

The meeting is a clash of contrasting styles as Doolan’s will attempt to impress their fluid passing game on a Workers eleven renowned for closing down from the off and wearing their opponents down by maintaining a high tempo allied with a never say die attitude right to the finish.

Postal look to have the edge in defence with experienced full-backs in Philip Clifford and skilful left-back John McGrath,  both lethal in front of the opposition’s goal is given the opportunity. The centre of defence offers options for manager Tony Daly with sweeper Jerry Browne equally comfortable playing alongside Timmy Donovan and Tony Guest. Denis O’Leary, John Brackett and Cormac Sheehan offer stability if required.

Doolan’s two last lines of defence of goalkeeper James Murphy, full-backs Alan Monaher and Ian McCarthy along with assured central defenders Craig Keegan, Stephen McCarthy and Brian Harris will face the formidable Workers’ offensive midfield of tigerish Andy Maher, John Browne, Pat Lester and Derry Hartnett and strike force of the league’s most decorated player, John Reid, Pat Hurley and Ger Frahill.

While Postal look to have a more experienced back-five, they would have seldom have had to face a strike force as formidable and mobile as Tony O’Reilly, James Cotter, Jamie Murphy and Roy McCarthy. Coupled with the pressure that consistent captain Darren Geraghty, Liam Horgan, elegant James O’Shea and exceptionally quick Aaron Hennessy can exert from midfield could put the Workers’ defence under even more strain and the ninety minutes could well be a busy time for Postal’s number one Tom Archer.

The tie is sure to entertain and whether extra-time or penalties are required, whoever comes through will know they were in a match against a team of the highest calibre.

Doolan’s management duo of Denis O’Sullivan and Wayne Kavanagh will give late fitness tests to Craig Keegan (ankle) and Tony O’Reilly (knee) while Postal boss Tony Daly has concerns about Phil Clifford (swollen instep) and Andy Maher (shoulder).

Referee Connie Long comes into the middle for the first time and is assisted by two other good friends of the league Bertie Stark and Barry Kearney. Last season’s JSK Eco Cleaning Solutions Referee-of-the-Year Darren O’Sullivan is called up as the fourth official for the first time.

Doolan’s Cow (Panel for CBL Champions Super Cup):
Goalkeepers: James Murphy.

Defenders: Alan Monaher, Ian McCarthy, Brian Harris, Craig Keegan, Stephen McCarthy.

Midfielders: Darren Geraghty (capt.), Liam Horgan, James O’Shea, Aaron Hennessy, Keith McCarthy, Sean O’Sullivan.

Forwards: Tony O’Reilly, James Cotter, Jamie Murphy, Roy McCarthy, Bryan O’Leary, Ian O’Riordan.

Managers: Denis O’Sullivan, Wayne Kavanagh.

Postal Workers  (Panel for  CBL Champions Super Cup)

Goalkeeper: Tom Archer.

Defenders: Philip Clifford, John McGrath, Cormac Sheehan, Denis O’Leary, Jerry Browne, Tim Donovan, Tony Guest, John Brackett.

Midfielders: Derry Hartnett, Andy Maher, John Browne, Pat Lester (capt.).

Strikers: Pat Hurley, John Reid, Tom Barry, Nicky Byrnes, Ger Frahill.

Managers: Tony Daly and Harry Harte.