LFA Senior Cup
North End Utd – 2
Kilbarrack Utd – 1
Kilbarrack Utd were edged out of the LFA Senior Cup on Sunday after an entertaining and competitive game against the current FAI Junior Cup champions North End Utd in Wexford. It was an impressive performance from Chris McDonnell’s youthful side against one of the top sides in the country, with one goal between the sides come the final whistle.
Kilbarrack’s injury list remains lengthy, but each player wearing the blue on Sunday stepped up to the mark and gave it all for the team.
Both sides settled into their passing game early with the visitors not looking overawed by the FAI champions. The first clear cut chance came for the hosts on 16 minutes but their header went just over the bar. 10 minutes later former League of Ireland star Gary Dempsey found space at the back post but he put his header wide of Matt Lyon’s post.
With 33 on on the clock the home side did manage to beat Lyons but the crossbar proved Kilbarrack’s saviour and the scores remained level. Up the other end just a couple of minutes later Ben Quinlan drove at the North End defence before cutting outside and hitting a sweet strike but it was deflected just over. Soon after Quinlan was the provider as his clever flick fell into the path of Aaron Brennan but it wouldn’t drop quickly enough for him and he shot wide under pressure from a defender. The sides went into the break level and the game remained on a knife edge.
Just a minute into the second half Kilbarrack were caught cold and Gary Dempsey slammed home from close range to give the home side the lead. Kilbarrack were still in the game but their task became harder when a defensive mix up saw Adam Byrne pass the ball into his own net.
Kilbarrack were back in it just four minutes later on 61 when under pressure from Aaron Brennan, former Wexford Youths defender Paul ‘Patsy’ Malone handled in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Anto McKay, who had been impressive all afternoon, stepped up and slotted home.
Kilbarrack pushed for an equaliser with Brennan running his socks off, and new signing Dylan Travers always looking creative in the pocket. When required, fellow new signing Adam Fox looked solid in the centre of defence.
It was Fox who came closest to levelling it up but his header went just over the bar and the clock was against Kilbarrack when the final whistle came moments later.
While Kilbarrack will be disappointed to exit the LFA Senior Cup, they can all hold their heads high in the knowledge that they ran one of the best amateur sides in the country close and with full side, the result could have been much different.