Mark Rocks the Hoops
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Millburn United 2. Killowen Celtic 0.
MILLBURN United gave a gutsy backs-to-the-wall performance to defeat strong favourites Killowen Celtic in the Mary Markey Cup Final.
On Saturday afternoon at Kilbroney the Burren-based side grabbed a goal in each half to deservingly run out winners and prevent their rivals winning their third Markey Cup in succession.
Millburn boss Collie Campbell was overjoyed with his team's display as he said: "The Markey Cup was a long time coming. The odds were on Killowen to win but our boys did tremendously well and I'm delighted with their performances. Hopefully it will be the first of many trophies."
Over the 90 minutes the Hoops had most of the play and most of the scoring opportunities. But Millburn keeper Mark Rocks had an inspired afternoon and his courage and experience denied Killowen time after time. Scarcely surprisingly the net-minder won the Man of the Match award.
Still Rocks wasn't on his own and the Burren defenders Gary McMahon, Keith Treanor and Philip McKay each turned in powerful displays.
On the other hand the Celts always looked dangerous, especially twin strikers Joe McEvoy and Arthur McConville but it just wasn't to be their day and as the scoring opportunities mounted up, it looked increasingly unlikely that Killowen would break down a so-determined United rearguard.
Yet Millburn had the first real chance on 14 minutes but the Hoops' keeper Raymond McDonald denied skipper Ruairi Murdock with a brave block. The rebound fell invitingly for Murdock but as he headed goal-wards, a Killowen body got in the way.
However, two minutes later Mickey Morgan opened the scoring, the United striker rounding McDonald before tapping home from close range.
And Tommy McNally might have doubled Millburn's tally on 32 minutes but the winger fired over with a clear chance.
With six minutes to go to the break Killowen could have levelled but McEvoy twice was denied a goal, first by a crunching Millburn tackle and then by Rocks clawing the ball out when a goal seemed a certainty. Arthur McConville tried up force home the loose ball but he was crowded out.
Immediately after the restart former Warrenpoint Town player Shaun Parr was inches away with a snapshot and then Rocks stuck out a hand to flick the ball away as Joe McEvoy was about to fire home.
Killowen pressurised Millburn as the half progressed but although McConville, Aidan Cousins and McEvoy went close, the Millburn defence were just not going to be breeched.
And on 74 minutes in a rare breakaway Packie McNulty snapped up a second Millburn goal, a sweet side-foot into the top corner with McDonald helpless.
In the closing minutes the Celts pushed forward in numbers but fate transpired against them - and in the end Millburn were worthy Mary Markey champions.
Millburn United: Mark Rocks, Gary McMahon, Phil McKay, Keith Treanor, Aaron Tohill, Mickey Kayes, Darren McPolin, Packie McNulty, Mickey Morgan, Ruairi Murdock and Tommy McNally with subs: Thomas Beggs, Dean Irvine, Cormac McGuigan, Cathal Rooney and Daniel Stewart.
Killowen Celtic: Raymond McDonald, Ryan McAleenan, Gareth Clarke, John Cole, Aidan Cousins, Sean McManus, Greg Curtis, Shaun Parr, Conor Fegan, Joe McEvoy and Arthur McConville with subs: Paddy McEntee, David Walker, Ryan Cousins and Dominic Trainor.
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