Crumlin United are this year’s FAI Intermediate Cup Champions after they comfortably overcame the challenge of Tolka Rovers in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday afternoon, thanks to goals from Alan McGreal, Ger Rowe, Greg Moorehouse and finally Paddy Cannon.
This year’s final, which was the first without Avoldale United since 2009, failed to ignite early on in the way the couple of hundred supporters gathered in the Aviva Stadium had hoped.
A first shot of the game was mustered up by Crumlin United’s Kevin Dempsey on seven minutes but the first time either keeper was made to work didn’t occur until fifteen minutes into the contest. An interception followed by a neat through ball from Jonathan Meleady set Mark Townley away but a poor first touch from the striker resulted in David Meehan having the opportunity to smother the potential danger.
Finally the game appeared set to open up a bit as just moments later down the other end of the field Greg Moorehouse stung the palms of Morgan Cranley, in the Tolka Rovers goal, with a quick swivel and turn just inside the penalty area.
As we kicked ever so closer to the half hour mark, Crumlin captain James Lee really should have scored from six yards out. Former UCD man Ciaran Nangle was the architect as he beat his man out on the left hand flank, before delivering a peach of a ball over the defence but somehow Lee managed to mishit the ball so bad that it ended up not even going out of play.
But then just seconds later the Aviva had its first goal of the day when Alan McGreal hit a beautiful curling effort beyond the outstretched Cranley. It really was a fantastic goal but what made it better was the neat link up play involving the ever impressive Lee who was involved in a nice one two that allowed McGreal the space he needed to get the game’s first goal.
Having waited half an hour for the first goal, we only had to wait a mere two minutes for the ball to once again end up in the back of the Tolka net. This time it was Ger Rowe who provided the finish but much like the first Crumlin goal it was the link up play that had people talking. The ball found its way into the Rovers box with a succession of quick one touch passing before goalscorer McGreal turned provider, as it was his cheeky backheel that allowed Rowe to power home unopposed from eight yards out.
Crumlin really should have gone in at the break three goals to the good, as Greg Moorehouse but the speed burners on and whizzed past Marc Mooney to go one on one with the keeper, only to fail to deliver enough accuracy to steer the ball beyond Cranley.
The second half started in even worse fashion than the first with neither team managing to impose themselves sufficiently on the game. Chances were few and far between with Tolka realising that a goal was needed in order to make this a contest once more however, Townley could only blast wide when the chance presented itself while Kelly’s saw his shot well held by David Meehan.
Another backheel by Crumlin almost set up their third of the afternoon as McGreal flicked the ball to the wide open John Sullivan, who saw his effort from twelve yards out fantastically tipped over the bar by the hand of the Tolka net minder.
Just a couple of minutes later Crumlin did go three in front and cement their name on the Intermediate Cup trophy for the 2014/15 season. It was scored by Greg Moorehouse after a delightful ball over the top from Ger Rowe found the unmarked number nine, allowing him a clean slate of grass to bare down on goal and finish coolly into the far corner.
With the clock in the stadium ticking down to the ninety minute mark, Paddy Cannon managed to find himself one on one with the Tolka Rovers goalkeeper less than five minutes after entering the fray, however that did not faze him as he comfortably slotted the ball beyond the demoralised Cranley.
With that chance the best of the action from the Intermediate Cup Final also concluded as Crumlin’s experience showed in the final few minutes with the North Dublin club seeing off their fellow Dublin rivals.
Tolka Rovers: Morgan Cranley, Niall O’Reilly, Mark Mooney, Noel Murray, Sean Byrne; Luke Kelly, Mark O’Neill, Jonathan Meleady (Owen Humphreys 85), Adam Foley (Dennis Moran 46); Mark Hughes (Adam Crowther 82), Mark Townley.
Subs Not Used: Alan McDermot, Eamonn Moylan, Shane Hughes, Craig Sexton.
Yellow Cards: Murray (47), Townley (71), Hughes (71), Kelly (90+3).
Crumlin United: David Meehan, Ciaran Reilly, Thomas Hyland, Ross Carrig, Ciaran Nangle; Kevin Dempsey (Martin Cramer 86), John Sullivan, James Lee, Alan McGreal; Greg Moorehouse (Patrick Cannon 85), Ger Rowe (Daniel Loughran 86).
Subs Not Used: Daniel McGuinness, Leon Johnson, Barry Slattery, Michael Quinn.
Yellow Cards: Reilly (88).
Referee: Declan Troy.
Attendance: 250 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Alan McGreal (Crumlin United).