Saturday, September 26, 2009
ALBERT ROVERS DONERAILE 2000
PRESIDENT'S CUP FINAL PREVIEW
Albert Rovers v Doneraile, Turner's Cross, Sunday next, kick off 2.15.
"There is a great buzz in the town" said Doneraile's handy defender Andy Murphy as he spoke of Sunday's visit to Turner's Cross to take on Albert Rovers in the Murphy's Stout President's Cup final (kick off 2.15pm). "We've had a great run to date and if we can repeat the quarter-final performance against Afton Villa, we could well take the cup."
Alberts manager Mick Dalton is also quietly confident but a little worried as to how his young charges will take to the Cross but is hopeful that they'll revel in the wide open spaces.
The cup run is great boost to Doneraile, just back in league soccer after a two year lapse. Murphy says the league results haven't been great, though they are still well in it: "The cup run could yet make our season". This is a first final for Doneraile who have previously been successful in 3A (in 1993) and in 2A (in '94).
While Alberts rely totally on youth, Doneraile have a good blend of experienced performers and young talent. Most of the experience is at the back and it will be interesting to see how skipper Dave Donlon, keeper Tom Cole, Gerry O'Connell (ex Boher) and Murphy himself, cope with the scoring prowess of forty goal Michael Cummins.
Dave Ryall, though only 22, is one of the more experienced of the North Cork sides and, able to use both left and right feet, is an outstanding midfielder. They have promising young players in the likes of defender John McAuliffe, William Carey, and Eddie O'Brien, all teenagers.
The full Doneraile squad is: Tom Cole, Andy Murphy, John McAuliffe, David Donlon, Gerry O'Connell, Dave Ryall, Hugh Nolan, William Carey, Eddie O'Brien, Jim Landy, David Walsh, Billy O'Brien, John Hickey, Mick McKeown, and Don Fitzgerald.
Keeper Shane O'Neill, alert and confident, is a key player in the Alberts team. Full back Paul O'Brien is a confident ball carrier, source of many an attack, while centre half Kevin O'Callaghan is cool and commanding.
Midfielder Alfie Davis is a delight to watch, loves to run and beat defenders and supply Cummins. Niall Goodman Timmy O'Connor and Stuart French are also well able to prise an opening from the centre.
Cummins has plenty of help upfront where Alan Daly and John Dalton also operate. Cummins is one of the brightest stars in the lower division and has already scored an incredible forty goals this season, his latest feat a four goal haul in last Sunday's league win over Dunbar. Is there a line of form here? Alberts beat Dunbar 5 - 1 while Doneraile needed extra time to win 4 - 1.
The average age of the side is 19 and these kids train hard, kept to a rigorous schedule by Darren Healy whose efforts are hugely appreciated by the lads. Michael O'Connor is another great servant of the club and is always there to lend a hand.
Manager Mick Dalton picks from: Shane O'Neill, Alan Gould, Paul O'Brien, Kevin O'Callaghan, Patrick Ahern, Alfie Davis, Niall Goodman, Tim O'Connor, Stuart French, Alan Daly, John Dalton, Seamus Healy, Ryan Dineen, Pakie Higgins, Ian O'Mahony, Mossie O'Sullivan, Michael Cummins (captain),.
Paths to the final:
Jimmy Landy may not be quite as prolific as Alberts ace Michael Cummins but the Doneraile striker has scored regularly in the cup to date and that included last minute equalisers in the games against Castle Celtic and Dunbar Celtic.
Castle Celtic were the first round opposition and Landy's intervention brought the tie to extra time where strike partner Dave Walsh delivered the final coup in a 2 - 1 win.
Doneraile got a bye in the second round and took on Dunbar Celtic in the third. Defeat was again staring them in the face until Landy headed his last minute equaliser and they went on to win 4 - 1 in extra time.
The North Cork side came up against a strong Afton Villa outfit in the quarter final and turned on the style to advance, Landy and Walsh again on target. They were drawn away to Lakewood Athletic in the semi-final. Landy didn't get on target this time but he was brought down for the spotter from which Dave Ryall made it 1 - 0 to book a place at The Cross.
Ardmanning Celtic were the first round opposition for Alberts and both Cummins and Stuart French scored as they advanced to a second round date with Shandon Celtic. Cummins netted all four as Celtic were outgunned 4 - 2.
Whitethorn were expected to give Alberts a hard time of it but Cummins was in hat trick form and French added another in a 4 - 1 win at Killowen. Ballincollig were next to test the Alberts men but they went down 3 - 1 to goals by Cummins (2) and Alan Daly.
Macroom did better than most against Alberts and managed to score twice but that was not enough. Cummins was again in hat trick form and Alan Daly also goaled in a 4 - 2 semi-final decision.
Dan Deady is the referee for next Sunday's final and his assistants are John Jones and Sean Hegarty.