Saturday, May 09, 2020

MONREAD set such a blistering pace at the top of the Senior Division during the 2018 season that Suncroft had to reassess their season’s goals pretty early on.

The Naas side were absolutely superb in the league and dropped just two points on their way to their first top flight league title so fairly early in the season, Suncroft turned their attentions to becoming the first team since Coill Dubh in 2010 and 2011 to retain the Lumsden Cup.

Once again, they had the extra motivation that the final would be played on their immaculate home pitch.

Suncroft reached the final after beating surprise packets Garryhinch in the semi-final and they would go up against Ballycane Celtic in the decider.

Ballycane faced a tough test in the semi-final against Clane Utd but Sean Farrell’s goal in extra time secured a 3-2 win and put them in the final for the first time since they lost to Kilcullen in 2005.

Torrential rain on the day of the game meant it was doubtful that it would take place at all until shortly before kick off, referee Eddie Sullivan eventually passing the pitch playable.

And it turned out to be another day to remember for the Neil Barnby managed Suncroft.

Their captain Ray Coleman, playing in his third final for the club, gave them the lead in the 20th minute when he converted from the penalty spot after Dylan Connolly had been fouled.

It was 2-0 14 minutes later. Darren Kilbey was setting a record that will surely stand for a long time by playing in his sixth successive final and he set another record by becoming the first man to score four goals in Lumsden Cup finals when finished off Gary Connolly’s cross.

Suncroft’s Darren Kilbey set two records in this game – he was appeared in his sixth successive final and he became the top scorer in Lumsden Cup finals
Photo: Mick Anderson

Suncroft made sure of the win early in the second half when Daniel Dee found the net, Suncroft’s eighth successive goal in Lumsden Cup finals.

Daniel Dee celebrates after scoring Suncroft’s third goal
Photo: Mick Anderson

Liam Mullans pulled a goal back for Ballycane but it was Suncroft who carried the greater threat in the latter stages and Coleman came close again when he crashed a shot off the bar from distance.

On a day of setting records, Coleman became the first captain to lift the trophy in successive seasons as Suncroft joined Castle Villa at the top of the Lumsden Cup roll of honour with four wins.

Ray Coleman lifts the Lumsden Cup as Suncroft for the second successive season
Photo: Mick Anderson

Suncroft lift up the cup after beating Ballycane Celtic
Photo: Mick Anderson


Line ups –

SUNCROFT AFC: Kevin McDonnell, Gary Scully, Shane Dillon, Tom Doyle, Ray Coleman, Mikey O’Toole, Kieran Morris, JP McDonagh, Darren Kilbey, Gary Connolly, Dylan Connolly. Subs: Danny Dee, Evan Aldwell, Kieran Sheedy, Dan Connolly, Rob Burke, Byron Reid, Bernard Murphy.

BALLYCANE CELTIC: Keith Higgins, Kevin Higgins, Dane Loughran, Mark Loughran, JP Higgins, Jamie Curran, Stephen Quinn, Robert Heavey, Keelan Noone, Sean Farrell, Christy Higgins. Subs: Noel Byrne, Johnny Finnegan, Dane Higgins, Johnny Sullivan, Ross Hazzard, Liam Mullans, Naoise Drewitt.

REFEREE: Eddie Sullivan.

Tomorrow is the last day of look through the Lumsden Cup history books as we look back at the 2019 when Clomullion went up against Monread.

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