Super Stars finish on a high
Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Windmill Stars 4. Ballybot United 1.
WINDMILL Stars finished their Carnbane League season on a high after winning the league title last Tuesday and then two days later defeating Ballybot United in what many people (but not the Carnbane League) saw as the Fr Davies Cup Final.
Two Gareth White goals against Newry Celtic at Artie Green Park on Tuesday (in a 2-1 victory) ensured that the Stars ended the 2013/14 season as Premier League champions
But on Thursday evening the Carnbane League decided, after much consultation, that the Father Davies Cup Final between the Stars and Ballybot United would not go ahead as planned but the teams would play for the Duncan Edwards Shield. No medals were handed out on Thursday but the teams were assured they would receive them at a later date.
This was due to Orchard City appealing the Carnbane League's decision to expel them from the cup competition. In a letter to the press Carnbane Secretary Brian Naughton wrote: "The Carnbane League has reluctantly accepted the advice from the MUFA Chairman that the Fr Davies Cup Final between Ballybot United and Windmill Stars, scheduled for 29 May, should now be deferred until the Orchard City appeal has been heard.
“However, to make up for the disappointment for all local football supporters and the two clubs involved who were looking forward to the game, it has been decided, in agreement with both teams, that a game should take place between Ballybot United and Windmill Stars and that the Carnbane League Charity Shield will be presented to the winning team. No individual trophies will be presented tonight to any of the two teams involved in this game."
However, Orchard City have subsequently withdrawn their appeal. Ballybot are not looking a replay so in the footballing spirit it is expected that Windmill will be awarded the Fr Davies Cup at a later date. There will be no replay between Ballybot and Windmill.
Anyway to the Duncan Edwards Shield: on 13 minutes Windmill surged ahead when Conor Shields latched onto a John Joe Maguire pass before shooting across the Ballybot keeper Brian Havern and into the bottom corner.
And Windmill made it two on 34 minutes, this time Shields was in the right place to poke home after Havern had pushed out a point-blank Ciaran O'Neill header.
Furthermore in the first half the Stars might have been 4-0 in front as both Ruairi Cunningham and Joe McLoughlin both hit the United woodwork.
At the other end Barry Garvey tested the Stars keeper Kevin Thompson with a wicked drive on 28 minutes. But the match ended as a contest on 52 minutes. Ballybot skipper David Toal fouled Conor Shields in the box with referee Paul McLoughlin pointing to the spot and Cunningham confidently drilling home the resulting penalty kick. To their credit Ronan Casey's Ballybot never gave up and after Brendan Bellew unluckily saw his drive hit the side-netting and Chris Murphy was inches away with a blistering 25-yard freekick, United pulled one back on 76 minutes. Shay Miller crossed with Felix McCourt swivelling and firing low into the net from 20 yards.
Yet the Ballybot chink of light was extinguished less than 60 seconds later when McLoughlin set up Josh McKeown who blasted a 20-yarder into the bottom corner with Havern a spectator.
Windmill manager Kieran McParland was pleased with his team completing a unique triple - the Mid-Ulster Shield title, Premier League Championship and the Duncan Edwards Shield.
The Stars' boss told the Democrat: "It was a great achievement and an all-round team effort. We started the season with a very young team with nobody giving us a chance. But the boys worked their socks off all year, dug in when we needed to, and in our last game against Celtic picked up the points we needed to win the league title."
Windmill Stars: Kevin Thompson, Barry Quinn, Ciaran O'Neill, Ruairi Cunningham, Conor McKeown, Patrick Quinn, John Joe Maguire, Joe McLoughlin, Josh McKeown, Conor Shields, and Garth White with subs: Ryan Devlin, Damian O'Hare, Paddy Hearty, Martin Keenan and Conor Owens.
Ballybot United: Brian Havern, Chris Tierney, David Murphy, Mark Toal, David Toal, Chris Murphy, David O'Connor, Shea McAlister, Brendan Bellew, Barry Garvey and Felix McCourt with subs: Paul Quinn, Ray Hughes, Shay Miller, Ciaran Quinn and Brendan McKernan.
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