Bessbrook Cup Showdown
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
NEWRY CELTIC and Killeavy United will lock horns in the final of the Bessbrook Cup on Boxing Day at The Newry Showgrounds.
Celtic will be hoping to go one better than last season, when they were agonisingly defeated on penalties by Cleary Celtic in the final of the competition, amidst controversial circumstances.
The Hoops have a rich history in the Bessbrook Cup over the years, annexing the trophy a record 11 times - the first of which coming in the 1970/71 season when they defeated Sparks United in the final, while the most recent victory was just two seasons ago, when the Celts broke the record for a margin of victory in a Bessbrook Cup final, annihilating the now defunct Clanrye Athletic 7-1.
Killeavy United, Celtic's opponents in the final this Boxing Day, are long overdue an appearance in the final of the competition. It's been a decade since the south Armagh men last won the 'Brook Cup, when they beat Rockview United in the 2006/07 final. Incredibly this is Killeavy's only ever appearance in a Bessbrook Cup final - which is hard to believe, given the calibre of players they have produced down the years.
Confidence will be sky high in both camps going into the final, as the two teams are on a rich vein of form at the moment. But if the score-line in the previous meeting between the sides is anything to go by, then Killeavy are probably favourites for the match, as they defeated the Celts 4-0 in the opening match of the season back in August.
Newry Celtic joint Manager Liam Evans said his side will be going all out to avenge this heavy defeat.
“They wanted it more that day, it's as simple as that. I'd like to think it'll be a bit closer this time," said Evans.
“It'll be a tough game but we know we can compete with them. A cup final is all about who wants it more on the day.
“We're training hard a couple of nights a week at the College and we're on a good run of form at the moment, so we're going into the match full of confidence."
Killeavy United manager Paddy McCann said they won't be reading too much into the previous result between the teams.
“To be fair 4-0 was a harsh result on them that day. Our goalkeeper Andrew Woodward was Man of the Match, which tells you a story in itself," McCann said.
“On another day the match could easily have finished 5-5, so we're not getting carried away with ourselves.
“Celtic have a very strong side this year and we will have to be at our very best to get the better of them in the final."
Indeed, it's anyone's guess who will win this season's Bessbrook Cup final - but one thing is for sure - this Boxing Day's showdown promises to be a cracker - between two of the most attacking and entertaining teams in the Carnbane League.
Carnbane League Kehoe Bessbrook Cup Final
St Stephen's Day at 2pm
Newry Showgrounds: Newry Celtic v Killeavy United.
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