Listowel 1-2 Park
Friday night last saw us away to Listowel in the cup. Having lost twice to Listowel in the league this was sure to be a tough assignment for our lads. We travelled with the bare eleven due to confirmations and sickness but luckily Sean Fitzmaurice was available after his injury layoff and he played a pivotal role in the game.
We started well against the wind and dominated the opening 10 minutes without really threatening their goal. However when we failed to clear a ball from the back some hesitant defending saw Listowel take the lead against the run of play. We continued our passing game and applied some heavy pressure on the Listowel goals with some excellent crosses and corners but were unable to breach the Listowel rearguard.
The first 30 minutes of second half continued in the same vein with excellent teamwork and passing but in spite of creating multiple chances did not score. At this stage in a rare counter attack Listowel got in for their only chance of the half but Fitzy pulled off a superb save to push the ball out for a corner. In what turned out to be a crucial move Shane Louth moved to the wing, Colin to midfield, Calvin up front and we went three at the back. Shane delivered some superb balls from the wing and it was from a clever reverse pass that he picked out Duggie who turned the defender and scored with a well struck shot to the corner to level the game.
With Fergal pushing forward from the back, Sean was free to attack at will as we chased a winner and with 2 minutes left we scored from a goalmouth scramble where the referee deemed the ball had crossed the goal line. Calvin claimed to have got the final touch although it could have been any one of 5 Park players as we swarmed all over their goals.
There was no way back for Listowel and although it was a cruel way for them to lose the game our lads fully deserved their win. A fantastic team effort where Chris had his best game this year ably assisted by Brandon and the ever reliable Colin. Our left wing of Fergal and Sean combined brilliantly and linked well with Gary in the middle. Jessie as always was a serious threat and never gives the ball away. Our 2 goal scorers and Shane up front deserved to be on a winning side for their hard work and good play. A special mention for the returning Fitzy who had the proverbial stormer in goals with excellent and strategic kicking and safe hands.
Killarney Athletic await in the final on Killarney Celtic’s all weather pitch on the 26th of May. It promises to be another titanic battle but if we display the same passion and ability we have every chance of defending the trophy.