Sports

Trophy reward for Strabane Athletic

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Trophy reward for Strabane Athletic thumbnailStrabane Athletic players celebrate with the O'Bryan Cup.

STRABANE Athletic FC received a great end of season boost when their Saturday Morning League squad triumphed in the O'Bryan Cup Final at Brooke Park on Friday evening.

Du Pont ...0
Strabane Athletic...4

The victory came at the end of a sometimes difficult season and was reward for the players and their hard working management team of Paul Doherty, Wils Patterson and 'Giggs' Connolly.

The foundations of any good performance are in defence and in the early stages when the game was evenly contested, the Strabane back four of Adamh Bonner, Richie Graham, Stefano Di Condio and Wils Patterson dealt capably with anything Du Pont had to offer. Behind the defence goalkeeper, Dylan Early was never really troubled but his assured handling and speed off his line inspired confidence and Du Pont knew it would take something special to breach this solid rearguard.

Du Pont's best chance in the opening 15 minutes came from a corner which was eventually cleared but it was Athletic who were displaying a cutting edge and Dylan Peoples just failed to find Joe Breslin and then David Taylor with a couple of fine long passes. Patterson's dead ball kicking was a valuable part of the Strabane armoury and from one of his well hit frees the ball was cleared to Ronan McBrearty who shot over the bar.

Dylan Peoples wasn't far away with a shot from distance before Wils Patterson made a fine run into the box and was brought down for a penalty kick. Patterson himself got up to expertly dispatch the penalty and give his team the lead. Athletic were in control now and a fine pass from Joe Breslin found Taylor who delivered for Peoples whose shot was blocked.

Du Pont tried to restore parity. A header from a free kick went over the bar and they forced a couple of corners all well dealt with by the Athletic defence. Another fine set piece delivery by Patterson was missed by the keeper and Dylan Peoples just failed to connect with a header. Strabane had a couple more shots at goal before the half time whistle.

Athletic began the second half with the same urgency and McBrearty's cross was headed over by Taylor. Then came a Paterson free kick which just eluded Richie Graham and Dylan Peoples. With Strabane doing most of the attacking a second goal was inevitable and it came when Taylor intercepted a throw in and found Peoples whose unselfish pass was finished off by Joe Breslin. The same two players combined again almost immediately but this time Breslin's shot just missed. 

It was chance after chance for Athletic now with Peoples having one cleared off the line, Breslin heading over and McBrearty having the ball in the net but it was disallowed. The insurance goal arrived when a brilliant run by David Taylor earned a corner and Mc Brearty's delivery was headed home by Richie Graham. 

Du Pont's Daniel Cooley had an overhead kick which cleared the bar before substitutes Conor Carlin and Sean Lynch missed chances for Strabane. It was left to another replacement Oran McShane to fire a nice diagonal shot from the edge of the box to put 'the icing on the cake' for Athletic. 

The victorious local lads received the well deserved cup amid celebratory scenes. It was reward for an excellent team performance with great work rate and skill all over the pitch. The club will be hoping that this victory will inspire more success for their teams in the coming seasons.

SAFC: Dylan Early; Adamh Bonner; Wils Patterson; Stefano Di Condio; Richard Graham; Danny Doherty; Aodhan Doherty; Dylan Peoples; Joe Breslin; Ronan McBrearty; Christy Gallagher; Oran McShane; Aaron Porter; Conor Carlin.

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