Murphy magic delivers Doolan’s’ second shield title!
63rd Sports Gear Direct Shield Final
Martin Harvey Solicitors 0 – 1 Doolan’s Cow Bar
THE CORK BUSINESS LEAGUE returned to action after a nine-month hiatus with the staging of last season’s Sports Gear Direct Shield Final at sun-drenched Turner’s Cross, writes Finbarr Buckley. Man-of-the-match Jamie Murphy produced a moment of magic two minutes before half-time with a goal of supreme individualism to land Doolan’s’ their second shield title following defeats in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Martin Harvey Solicitors, appearing in their first decider, kept the tie tight in the early stages. It wasn’t until eleven minutes in that favourites Doolan’s threatened the bottom goal. Jamie Murphy’s meandering run across the face of the goal ended with a low cross which went a-begging.
Within four minutes, Martin Harvey’s took the contest to their opponents and created two decent chances themselves from long clearances. First, John Paul Morris cut in from the right and tried to beat Edward Scanlon low to his right. However, Doolan’s six-foot-one keeper stood up to block the shot at the second attempt. On twenty minutes a delightful pass out of defense by Matt Tiffany was seized on by Alan Nolan whose run-in on goal and low shot was stopped by the alert Scanlon.
This was as good as it got for the underdogs who almost went behind when Aaron Hennessy set up Murphy who blasted over from close range. Murphy was again presented with a chance to break the deadlock on the 27th. An exquisite reverse pass by captain Tony O’Reilly put Murphy clean in on goal with only Eoghan Daly to beat. The classy striker elected to round Daly but the keeper dived at his feet to win the ball.
A minute later Murphy again had a shot saved by the outstanding Daly before two minutes before half-time he scored the goal he deserved. Murphy got past his marker Chris O’Sullivan and tore in on goal to plant the ball low to Daly’s left for a superb finish. Within three minutes of the second 45, a corner on the right by Murphy fell invitingly between Brian Harris and Keith McCarthy, only for the latter to fire over.
A minute later Murphy was once again the instigator of a sizzling run and a shot that cannoned off Daly’s right-hand post. In the 59thminute, Liam Horgan went s close to a second for Doolan’s from a free after a foul on Hennessy and Ian McCarthy set up Hennessy whose cross eluded the in-rushing Tony O’Reilly.
Doolan’s continued to look comfortable for the remainder of the half without adding to their opener and comfortably saw the contest out as Nolan was dismissed with four minutes remaining.
CBL Secretary Peter Travers and Fixture Secretary Ashley Todd presented Tony O’Reilly with the Shield trophy at the finish to bring the curtain down on a unique final played under health guidelines, the likes never experienced by the league at the home of Cork soccer.
Referee Yves Kirwan had a busy ninety minutes, beginning with a very good yellow card early on and correctly administering a red card near the finish. He was ably assisted throughout by h is assistants Jim Hennessy and Ken O’Driscoll.
Doolan’s Cow: Edward Scanlon: Stephen McCarthy, Ian McCarthy; Brian Harris, Craig Keegan; Keith McCarthy, Aaron Hennessy, James O’Shea (James Cotter); Tony O’Reilly (capt.), Jamie Murphy, Liam Horgan.
Martin Harvey’s Solicitors: Eoghan Daly: Joe Carroll (Darren O’Leary), Chris O’Sullivan; Chris O’Connell (capt.), Matt Tiffany (Luke Magee); Ian Harrington, Alan Nugent, Ross Malone (Jason O’Driscoll), Craig O’Sullivan; Dave O’Leary (Alan Nolan), John Paul Morris.
Referee: Yves Kirwan. Assistant Referees: Jim Hennessy, Ken O’Driscoll.