Virginia win dramatic Markey final

February 26, 2020

Danske Bank Markey Cup final
Virginia College (Cavan) 4-7 St Ciaran’s Ballygawley (Tyrone) 2-13
Virginia College win 5-4 on penalties.

From Damian Donohue in Breffni Park
It took a sudden death penalty save by Glen Prendergast for Virginia College to get over the line in a drama filled night in Kingspan Breffni Park. This game had everything. Goals, a penalty scored in ordinary time and a penalty saved in extra time.

And with the drama at fever pitch the game was forced to penalties thanks to Ruairi Canavan’s 45 metre free on the 13th minute of second half extra time. The free awarded would fall into the soft category but the Errigal Ciaran man back on the field for extra time made little of the pressure as he sent over with the outside of his right boot.

Referee Ciaran Mulligan was the centre of attention in extra time as he awarded Ballygawley a penalty with three minutes remaining in the second half after a long discussion with his umpire. Pauric Traynor stepped up for the second time with a chance to go one in front but Prentergast saved low to his right.
It was cruel but almost fitting that the game was decided with a goal as the five scored in ordinary time dictated the story line. Cormac Quinn hit the game’s first goal on the 14th minute from the penalty spot. At half-time Virginia may have been fortunate to hold a one point lead as their first goal on the 27th minute slipped in over Stephen McMenimin’s head after Conor Nulty’s shot for a point dropped short.

Corner forward Aaron McCabe showed silky soccer skills on the 29th minute to find the net with his second chance leaving Virginia 2-3 to 1-5 ahead. Virginia held that lead until the 20th minute of the second half when Ruairi Canavan found the net to give Ballygawley a one point lead.
St Ciaran’s looked to have done enough by adding two more points until Conor Nulty got a break off Neil McCabe to raise the games fifth green flag. The impressive Odhran Robinson had a free two minutes into injury time to win it for the Tyrone side but his long range effort tailed wide.

The game’s final goal came three minutes into extra-time as speedster and man of the man Sean McEvoy created an overlap for Ryan Galligan to square to Aaron McCabe for a palmed goal. With countless players from both sides cramping up it look like that goal could be enough but credit to Ballygawley who kept battling and two points in extra-time injury time saw them level the match forcing penalties.

Sean McEvoy scored Virginia’s first and Ruairi Canavan levelled. Aaron McCabe’s effort went over the bar and Cormac Quinn put Ballygawley ahead. Cillian McCabe found the net with Virginia’s third but Glen Prendergast saved low to the right to level matters. Stephen Kavanagh put Virginia ahead and Oran Treacy levelled, in off Prendergast. Caolach Monaghan and Pauric Traynor both found the net forcing sudden death. McEvoy once again hit the net piling the pressure on Quinn who did little wrong but was denied by Prendergast once again.
Virginia College: G Prendergast, L Doyle, C Donoghue, R Kellet, S Kavanagh, N Carolan, T Lynch, A Sweeney, C Fitzpatrick, A Mannion(0-1), R Galligan(0-2), N McCabe, C Nutly(2-1), S McEvoy(0-1), A McCabe(2-1).

Subs R Cullen for T Lynch (HT), C McCabe for R Kellet (41), T Farrelly (0-1) for A Mannion (46), T Hagen for C Fitzpatrick (54), S OgMcGearty for R Galligan (67), O Tynan for N McCabe (70), C Monaghan for C Nulty (76).

St Ciaran’s Ballygawley: S McMenemin; J Hetherington, B Quinn, O McCaughey, F McElroy, P Traynor(1p-0), M McCarney, C Quinn (0-3), R McElroy, E Millar, P Kane, M Quinn(0-2), R Canavan(1-4f), O Robinson(0-2,1’45), R Harper.

Subs B Carberry for E Millar (38), O Treacy (0-1) for R Harper (44), E Carberry for M McCarney (57), C Bogue (0-1f) for R Canavan (60), M McCarney for B Quinn (76).

The Penalties