Maryborough 4 Portlaoise Rovers 3
CCFL Summer Shield Final
Maryborough came out victorious in the CCFL Shield final against local rivals Portlaoise Rovers to seal their first ever piece of silverware in their club’s history after extra-time drama on Sunday.
What a game this was. It may have been a Shield final, but this game was filled with quality right throughout the game as both sides served up a classic with Maryborough having to fight back from a two-goal deficit to claim the cup.
Portlaoise Rovers started the better of the two teams and capitalised on some suspect defending with brilliant play from Will Boland on the left setting up Cian Doyle to tap home to give Rovers the lead.
Minutes later it was two nil with Doyle adding to his tally and now Rovers led 2-0 leaving Maryborough with a lot of work to do.
Rovers were now firmly in control of the game as Maryborough couldn’t respond to the two early goals they conceded.
Maryborough grew into the game slowly with Rovers’ keeper Colin Fitzpatrick having to be alert to deny Brendan Molloy. They now grew in confidence after their first chance with Sean O’Driscoll going close to pulling one back.
Rovers did have their chances to put the game to bed with Doyle coming close again along with Gavin Cooper’s dangerous corner, but it led to nothing.
Crucially Maryborough hit back before the break with Sean Hofmeister setting up O’Driscoll to finish into the back of the net and now Maryborough’s tails were up heading into the break.
Maryborough started the second half the way they finished the first half. The game now became open with both teams guilty of missing good chances.
Rovers were now playing on the counter attack and looked dangerous and once more they were wasteful in front of goal with missed chances by David Nolan, Ronan Corr and Ross Homes.
After these missed chances Maryborough struck the equaliser. It was again O’Driscoll and Hofmeister but the other way around with O’Driscoll making the assist and the former scoring. It was now game on.
A few minutes later Maryborough led for the first time with Hofmeister finishing for his second of the afternoon and the comeback was complete.
The lead was short lived however with Doyle getting his hat-trick just before the water break.
Both teams now attacked with players streaming forward looking to get the winning goal and to bring their first silverware back to their respective clubs.
As extra-time loomed both teams had their chances on goal but failed to capitalise and the game went into extra time.
As extra time began yet again there was clear cut chances but both defences stood firm and penalties were a real possibility.
The winner came from the penalty spot as substitute Gary Hofmeister was brought down and the referee pointed to the spot.
Seamus Lawless stood up and dispatched to the net to hand Maryborough their first ever silverware.
Maryborough FC: Chris Cash, Killian Breen, Garreth Dunne, Shaun Mulhall, Conor Brennan, Dean Kavanagh, Colm Phelan, Seamus Lawless, Brendan Molloy, Sean O’Driscoll, Sean Hofmeister. Subs: Gary Hofmeister for Molloy, Kyle Burke for Breen, Troy Fagan for Brennan, Byron Conroy for Fagan, Joe Delaney, Shane Tynan, Nathan Da Silva.
Portlaoise Rovers: Colin Fitzpatrick; Eoin Carey, Gavin Cooper, Ronan Corr, Ross Holmes; Jamie Shinners, Aaron Keane, Conor Dwane, David Nolan; Cian Doyle, Will Boland Subs: Jordan Byrne for Ronan Corr, Alan Roberts for Aaron Keane, Conor McKenna for Jordan Byrne