Shelbourne players with the Leinster Senior Cup on Friday night.
Dublin Derby

Shelbourne follow up play-off spot with silverware as Reds retain Leinster Senior Cup

Owen Heary’s side retained the Leinster Senior Cup on Friday night in a Dublin derby against St Pat’s.

Shelbourne 1

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

(Shelbourne win 6-5 on penalties)

Dave Donnelly reports from Tolka Park

ADAM EVANS KEPT his nerve in sudden death penalties as Shelbourne retained the Leinster Senior Cup with a hard-fought win over St Patrick’s Athletic.

Greg Moorhouse had given Shels the lead late on against the run of play but the Athletic, managed by caretaker boss Ger O’Brien following Liam Buckley’s resignation, equalised in injury time.

Achille Campion had been Cork City’s hero with an equaliser in the FAI Cup final win last year, and he looked to have done the same when he headed in off the post to force extra time.

He scored his shoot-out kick at the second attempt, after Lee Steacy’s save from the original kick was ruled out for stepping off his line, but Kevin Toner’s miss allowed Evans to pounce.

Shels were thankful to goalkeeper Steacy for a trio of top-class saves during normal time as he denied Jake Keegan and, twice, captain Ian Bermingham.

Keegan was the first to really test the keeper just past the half-hour as he got on the end of Bermingham’s cross, but Steacy was at full-stretch to palm it away.

He denied Bermingham just four minutes after the break with an even better stop, sticking out a long arm to claw the ball away when it looked destined to nestle in the top corner.

And he saved the best of the lot for last as, again, Bermingham sent a header arrowing towards the corner, but the former Bray man again used every inch of his reach to push it clear.

By then, Shels had already fallen victim to the goalkeeping heroics of Brendan Clarke who, after scoring from the spot against Sligo two weeks ago, returned to more familiar terrain of saving them.

Shels were awarded a spot-kick when James English’s shot was handled by Jamie Lennon but, from 12 yards, the striker could find no way past Clarke with a less-than-stellar low effort.

It looked as if it was going to matter little for the Reds as, having absorbed countless attacks, they took the lead against the run of play with six minutes remaining.

Bermingham’s clearance was charged down by sub Shane Farrell and English did enough to force a corner on the right-hand side.

Owen Heary Shelbourne manager Owen Heary. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Lorcan Fitzgerald swung it deep to the unmarked Moorhouse, and the former FAI Intermediate Cup winner with Crumlin United directed a low header past Clarke.

The home side looked to have done enough as the clock ticked past 90 and four minutes of injury time were held up, but a lovely cross from Madden was headed in off the post by Campion.

Dean Clarke, who had been brought on as a late substitute to chase a goal, managed to catch something quite different as he saw red for two yellow cards in six extra-time minutes.

And so it went to penalties, which wasn’t without its controversy as Steacy saved from Campion, only to be booked for stepping off his line, and the Frenchman netted the retake.

Deadlocked after the allotted ten kicks, Kevin Toner was the first to blink as his shot was saved low by Steacy, and Evans stepped up to dispatch the decisive penalty.

SHELBOURNE: Steacy; Brown, Prendergast, McEnteer, Fitzgerald; Hughes, Boyne (Rooney 90+4), P Kavanagh (Farrell 64); English (O’Sullivan 96), Evans, Moorhouse.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: B Clarke; Manley, Toner, Desmond; Madden, Clifford (Byrne 81), Lennon, Markey (D Clarke 85), Bermingham; Keegan (R Brennan 60), Campion.

Referee: Derek Dunne.

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