Avondale United win FAI Intermediate Cup

Avondale United have won the FAI Intermediate Cup.

Avondale United became the first ever Cork club to win back-to-back Carlsberg FAI Intermediate Cup finals when they scored an added time winner against debutants Bangor Celtic in this year's decider at Turner's Cross in Cork on Sunday.

Team captain John Cotter, who missed out on last year's all-Cork final with Blarney United, got the vital touch in the 91st minute when he toe-poked home Eoghan Lougheed's corner to keep the trophy in Cork for another 12 months, at least.

It was a cruel way for Bangor's big day to end for they more than matched the holders on a wet, grey and overcast day in the southern capital. Avondale shaded the chance count 3-1 to half-time but Bangor Celtic really shoud have been in front at the break.

And they would have been but for a brilliant reflex save by Avondale's man-of-the-match Dave O'Keeffe on 13 minutes when he clawed away Lar Dunne's shot from six yards on the end of Brian Mooney's cross.

It was the nearest Bangor came to a goal in the first half though Ben Savage powered a header over from Mooney's corner right on the stroke of half-time.

Avondale who have now won the trophy three times in their history were confined to fleeting chances in a lively first half in which both teams, to their credit, made light of the difficult weather conditions.

Lougheed had a snap shot blocked by Brendan Kennedy and Derek McCarthy was unable to turn the loose ball home after 16 minutes as the home team showed their teeth for the first time.

McCarthy tired to pick out Noel Hartigan with an overhead kick mid-way through but the ex-Cork City centre-half could not get any power in his header and Kennedy saved easily.

McCarthy shot wide minutes later before Ben Savage got in a timely tackle to block him again as the game neared half-time and remained scoreless. Bangor from a catchment area of Crumlin, Rathfarnham and Tallaght and playing in their first ever final matched the holders for effort and

industry to the interval on a wet, greasy and fast playing surface.

Avondale who had top striker David Spratt suspended did have Noel Hartigan passed fit to play and that brought a stablisding influence to their back four.

Kennedy saved a free kick from goal hero Cotter early in the second half before Philip Downey was off target for the Dubliners and Avondale's Tony Tynan chipped wide of the far post.

O'Keeffe made another big save for the home side when he got to Keith Madden's flick on to Devlin's cross and Adam Mitchell wasted a free header as Bangor pressed for a winner.

And they really should have clinched it ten minutes for the end when Madden only had the 'keeper to beat but he scuffed his shot wide from six yards range.

Bangor will rue those missed chances but it was still a heart-breaking way for it to end with extra-time looming large on the horizon.

Avondale Utd (4-4-2) - O'Keeffe, O'Sullivan, Hughes, Hartigan, Lougheed; Giltennan, Cotter (capt), Kieran, Knowles; Tynan, McCarthy. Subs. O'Mahony for Knowles (half-time), Bruton for Kiernan (73 mins), Goulding, O'Connell & Barry-Buckley (not used)

Bangor Celtic (4-4-2) - Kennedy; Fagan, Mitchell, Savage, White (capt); Downey, Dunne, Gleeson, Mooney; Barry Devlin, Madden. Subs. Paul Devlin for Madden (91 mins), Kenny, Ian Devlin, Courtney, McDonnell (not used).

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