Ballyowen see off Liffey to land cup

By Alex Dunne

BALLYOWEN Celtic weathered a Liffey Valley Rangers storm to run out winners in the Marie O'Reilly Cup Final at the SDFL Complex in Ballyowen Park on Saturday morning.

The local derby was played in good spirit with both sides going at it tooth-and-nail from Minute One, but it was Celtic who took the lead when Thomas O'Malley tapped home in the eighth minute.

Liffey valley V Ballyowen 11


Rangers, led by a fantastic solo performance from Aoife Farrell, tried and tried, but were stubbornly refused by the excellent Chimby Owdamanam at the back, before a late volley from Gabriel Ciotea six minutes from time settled the affair.

Ballyowen exerted the pressure early, playing a slick passing game and dominating possession, with Samuel Ogidan in midfield impressive with his passing to the forwards.

Indeed it was Ogidan who slipped in Ciotea down the left wing, whose cross was turned back towards goal by Ben Walker and O'Malley tapped home into the open net.

Rangers grew into the game after the goal, with Farrell running at the Ballyowen defense time after time, and her corner was whacked towards goal on the volley by Kian Waldron before it smacked the crossbar.

Nathan DeBotte needed to make a top-class save to deny O'Malley right at the end of the first half, and then made an even better save from Ciotea ws produced soon after.

Blessing Lunga made a miraculous double save on the line after Farrell's corner was struck twice towards goal by Richard Ropotan and Aaron McDade, with the Celtic midfielder stopping both bravely with his legs.

Rangers remained on top for most of the second half but Ropotan and Farrell both had chances denied by the top tackling of Owdamanam.

And Valley were made to pay for the missed chances when a long ball from goalkeeper David Miclea was not dealt with and Ciotea pounced to fire home from six yards out, and seal the result for Ballyowen.

There was time for one last chance for Rangers when Joshua Ewassa got through, but his shot was saved well by Miclea.

LIFFEY VALLEY RANGERS: N. DeBotte, E. Byrne, Imana, S. Boggans, K. Waldron, C. Byrne, D. Lavery, D. Sunday, A. Farrell. SUBS: C. Shanahan, A. McDade, T. Toks, J. McCabe, R. Ropotan, J. Ewassa.

BALLYOWEN CELTIC: D. Miclea, O. Briggs, C. Owdamanam, A. Borza, B. Lunga, G. Ciotea, S. Ogidon, T. O. Malley, B.Walker. SUBS: R. Wall, B. Jess Mall, R. Dabatos, E. Preisas.


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