NEFL | Doolargy Allstars show plenty of six appeal as they claim Over-35 Cup in style

NEFL Over-35 Cup Final | Doolargy All Stars 6–0 Cavan Town

The Doolargy All Stars Over-35 team that won the NEFL Cup on Saturday night. PICTURE: PATRICK DOHENY

Doolargy All Stars were crowned NEFL Over-35 Cup winners on Saturday night, the local side putting six without reply past Cavan Town at the MDL Grounds in Navan.

After beating Rock Celtic in the quarter-finals and dismantling Woodview Celtic in the semis, Dayser Bond’s side were firm favourites heading into the final and they justified that tag.

An experienced All Stars team started the match and, after dominating from the off, it took them just 20 minutes to break the deadlock. Alan Larkin’s cross from the right-hand side picked out Gerard Rafferty and he was perfectly positioned to head home a bullet into the corner of the net.

Cormac Woods, aided by Gavin Macken, caused the Cavan backline damage on the right hand side and in the 25th minute he was fouled just outside the Cavan penalty area with Dundalk’s FAI Cup winning captain of 2002, David Crawley, smashing the free kick off the crossbar.

Doolargy All Stars’ Alan Larkin receives the Man of the Match award. PICTURE: PATRICK DOHENY

Larkin was involved in Doolargy’s second which arrived shortly after, picking out Woods with a neat back heel right at the corner flag and David Fairclough got a vital touch to Woods’ cross to make it 2–0.

This goal came just minutes after Larkin had been fouled in the penalty area after a menacing run through the heart of the Cavan defence. Rafferty’s penalty was well saved by the Cavan netminder with the All Stars number nine blasting the loose ball over the top.

Doolargy went into the break with a 2–0 lead and strong performances by Ciaran Rogan and Alan Browne in midfield indicated that Cavan had it all to do.

To their credit, they started the second half brightly and Doolargy had to defend well with Tommy O’Hare and Conor McErlane answering any questions they were posed.

Doolargy All Stars captain Alan Browne receives the Over-35 Cup. PICTURE: PATRICK DOHENY

Behind them, goalkeeper Eamonn Roe made two point blank saves during this 15 minute period of pressure to keep Doolargy in the game.

The All Stars had a chance to extend their lead when the tireless Rafferty was upended in the Cavan box on the hour mark but David Crawley struck the crossbar for the second time with his spot kick.

The introduction of Noel Clarke proved to be a vital factor as Bond’s men took full control of the game, the substitute scoring just five minutes after his introduction after good approach play by Fairclough and O’Hare on the left.

Doolargy put the seal on the win in the 65th minute when some neat footwork by Woods ended in a free which the midfielder lined up to strike.

The Doolargy All Stars team celebrate with the trophy. PICTURE: PATRICK DOHENY

The Cavan wall was well set up but Woods tricked them, playing a beautifully weighted ball to Larkin which he planted into the bottom corner, ultimately killing off Cavan’s hopes.

The icing was put on the cake late on as substitutes John Derry and Damien Bailey added their names to the scoresheet to ensure the cup returned back to Dundalk.

With excellent performances in all positions, and plenty of strength and depth in a very strong squad, the All Stars were worthy winners of the cup.

The Over-35 League trophy will also remain in the area with Rock Celtic and Woodview Celtic due to meet in this Friday’s final at Sandy Lane.

DOOLARGY ALL STARS: Eamonn Roe, Gavin Macken, Conor McErlane, David Crawley, Tommy O’Hare, Cormac Woods, Alan Browne, Alan Larkin, Ciaran Rogan, David Fairclough, Gerard Rafferty. Subs: Damien Myles, John Derry, John McKeever, Noel Clarke, Fra Trimble, Thomas Macken, Damien Bailey.

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