THREE Flowers claimed the Terry Kelly Memorial Cup at Brandywell on Sunday afternoon, the well drilled Coshquin side’s overall experience clearly the dominant factor when facing a youthful, yet spirited Don Bosco’s in the 2011/12 showpiece.
ANTHONY McCALLION was at Brandywell
Photographs: PHIL GAMBLE
In fact, the Terry Kelly Memorial Cup is a competition Bosco’s will feel particularly close to given that the trophy is named after one of the club’s most respected legends and founder members. However, now focusing on the progression of youth, Bosco’s boss, Liam Bonner, will have no complaints with this result and, indeed, will have been happy with the effort put in by his young charges.
With Three Flowers boasting so many players with senior experience, players who have represented both Derry City and Institute, this was always going to be a bridge too far for the Creggan lads and so it proved from the outset.
Flowers got off to the perfect start when, after four minutes, Manus Deery headed home Darren Cassidy’s free-kick. Within minutes, Paul Moore was played through but he crashed is effort off the crossbar as Three Flowers remained on the front foot.
In the 10th minute, the Coshquin side doubled their lead and again centre-half, Deery, proved the marksmen when he rose majestically to head home Cassidy’s pin-point centre.
Bosco’s youngsters failed to handle the experienced Flowers midfield trio of Martin, Johnston and McCreadie and in the 25th minute Flowers were awarded a penalty after Bosco’s Paul Cooley was adjudged to have handled when inside the area. However, Flowers captain, Calvin Mooney, failed to take advantage when blasting the spotkick over the crossbar.
Killer Third Goal
But five miutes before the break, Three Flowers added their third goal and the young Bosco’s side were in serious trouble. Another superb cross from Cassidy was met by Paul Moore and he gave the Bosco’s keeper no chance.
From the re-start, Bosco’s moved the ball forward and Ciaran Ferry forced Flowers keeper, McCrudden, into a good save - the first threatening moment for Don Bosco’s.
But Flowers bounced back and on the stroke of half-time they made it 4-0 to basically end this final as a contest, Mooney racing onto an incisive through ball from McCreadie before rounding the Bosco’s keeper.
To be fair to Bosco’s they continued to battle and while the introduction of the experienced Vinny Morrison and Ryan McCreadie steadied the ship somehwat, they failed to make a serious impact on the Flowers defence.
Ryan McCreadie robbed Eugene Deery before feeding the ball through to striker, Ferry, but he failed to hit the target and a decent chance was lost.
Three Flowers continued to exert pressure, showing no mercy whatsoever to their young opponents and that pressure paid off again in the 65th minute when the border made netted a fifth goal.
The lively Cassidy sent in yet another superb cross and the alert Moore finished with aplomb.
To be fair, Bosco’s refused to allow their heads drop and Morrison gave the youngsters a lift when he netted a quality individual goal in the 70th minute having beaten the offside trap.
Minutes after that strike, Bosco’s conceded another penalty. Shane McCallion played Moore through on goal but the striker was adjudged to have been upended by the advancing keeper and Manus Deery drove the spotkick home to record a memorable hat-trick - not bad for a centre-back!
Calvin Mooney received the Terry Kelly Memorial Trophy after the final as Three Flowers hope to add further accolades to their trophy cabinet before the conclusion of the current campaign.