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Ex-Cork City striker on target as Avondale seal seventh FAI Intermediate Cup crown in 14 years

Mark O’Sullivan’s brilliant solo effort at the Aviva Stadium saw Avondale United overcome Crumlin United.

Avondale United celebrate with the trophy after the game.
Avondale United celebrate with the trophy after the game.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Avondale United 1

Crumlin United 0

Dave Donnelly reports from the Aviva Stadium

A MARK O’SULLIVAN strike worthy of winning any cup final was enough for Avondale United to seal their seventh FAI Intermediate Cup crown in 14 years on Saturday afternoon.

The former Cork City striker scored a wonderful solo effort eight minutes before half time as the unfancied Cork side upset the Leinster Senior League champions in the own back garden.

O’Sullivan has graced the Aviva Stadium turf three times in FAI Cup finals for Cork City in recent times without getting on the scoresheet and looked a man possessed in an effort to correct that.

His was the first clear-cut chance of the game when a slick, one-touch move down the right finished with O’Sullivan but, after leaving the Crumlin centre-halves for dead, his finish was poor.

Mark O'Sullivan celebrates scoring a goal with Jack Walsh and Danny O'Connell O'Sullivan celebrates with Jack Walsh and Danny O'Connell. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The striker – who was first signed by John Caulfield as Avondale manager 15 years ago – rarely passes up two opportunities and he made Crumlin pay shortly before the break.

He picked the ball up deep in the Crumlin half and drove forward and, with the defence backing off, he unleashed a powerful shot that nestled in the bottom corner of Mikey Quinn’s net.

Crumlin should have levelled almost immediately from the restart as Jake Donnelly did brilliantly to hold off two defenders, but he leaned back as he shot and cleared the crossbar.

Gareth ‘Redser’ Brady, brother of Ireland and Burnley winger Robbie, went close from an Alan McGreal corner but his shot was blocked by Mark Horgan.

Avondale threatened on their rare ventures forward but neither Jack Walsh nor Goghan Lougheed could find the target from David O’Leary’s pinpoint deliveries.

Mark O'Sullivan celebrates scoring a goal Mark O'Sullivan celebrates scoring the decisive goal. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Donnelly hit the side netting from close range before a well-struck volley, again from point-blank range, cannoned back off the brave Avondale skipper Dave Kiely.

Donnelly was subject to heavy challenges from Avondale players and he’d already spent time down with a head knock before a bad tackle from Walsh saw him stretchered off with a bad knee injury.

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He was replaced by a second Brady brother in Liam, and his smart nutmeg on Ryan Hogan was almost the moment of magic Crumlin needed, but his cross was cleared by Vinnie O’Brien.

Crumlin had one last chance to force extra time deep into the seven added minutes, but captain Hyland headed McGreal’s corner wide and Avondale held out to wild celebrations.

AVONDALE UNITED: Sean Barron; Dave Kiely, Mark Horgan (Vinnie O’Brien 79), Hughie O’Donovan; Danny O’Connell, Goghan Lougheed, Brian Murphy (Cathal O’Neill 90+4), David O’Leary (Karl Caulfield 64), David Shovlin (Ryan Hogan 35); Mark O’Sullivan, Jack Walsh.

CRUMLIN UNITED: Michael Quinn; Sean Harding, David Brady, Thomas Hyland, Gareth Brady; Craig Walsh, John Sullivan, James Lee, Alan McGreal; Conor Murphy (Sam Burgess 90+2), Jake Donnelly (Liam Brady 74).

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