Thursday, 14th December 2017
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Third and last defeat for Waterford FC

Cobh Ramblers 2 - Waterford FC 1

ONE of the goals of the season from young David Hurley dragged this end-of-season clash out of the ordinary as league runners-up Cobh Ramblers beat the First Division league champions and promoted Waterford by a goal at St Colman’s Park on Saturday afternoon.

Ramblers accorded the newly crowned champions and manager Alan Reynolds a guard of honour and applauded the opposition on to the field of play and then promptly outplayed them to lead by the extraordinary volleyed goal by Hurley at the interval.

It was Cobh’s last game of the season and it proved to be a fitting end to the campaign for Stephen Henderson’s boys who would have been two or even three goals up at the break but for an incredible one handed, reflex save by Ian McLoughlin to deny Hurley after just 17 minutes.  Alan Reynolds played a lot of players who did not feature regularly during the course of the season and that meant players such as Jack Lynch, Dean Walsh, Timmy Sobowale, Colm Whelan and Darryl Walsh got some game time in this contest. 

Cian Leonard had a turn and shot go just wide as McLoughlin, rooted to his goal-line, watched the ball flash just the wrong side of his left hand post after just four minutes.

Waterford had half a dozen of their fans ejected from the grounds inside ten minutes of the kick-off and that was the only blemish on the afternoon. Waterford’s Garry Comerford headed a Paul Keegan corner wide as Ramblers held their own against the Premier Division new boys and Hurley’s 31st minute goal was the highlight of the first half. Leonard set up the chance for his strike partner with his pass for Hurley to take the ball down on his chest and volley it left-footed high into the roof of the net.

The former Ringmahon Rangers schoolboy and Cobh U19 star was close to a second goal on 36 minutes after John Kavanagh and Leonard combined to set up another opening. Right on half-time, Blues skipper Paul Keegan had a chance of an equaliser but his 20 yard free kick dipped just outside Paul Hunt’s goal at the clubhouse end.

Cobh were full value for their one goal lead and they were close to extending it on the hour when McLoughlin spilled Leonard’s powerfully struck free kick and gathered the ball at the second attempt. Hunt saved from Dean O’Halloran before the claret-and-blues made it 2-0 on 75 minutes when substitute Ian Mylod took Cian Coleman’s pass in his stride to shoot low past McLoughlin into the far corner of the net.

Waterford rallied and pulled a goal back with six minutes to go when Dean Walsh headed in Comerford’s ball into the box but it was no more than a consolation for Alan Reynolds’ promoted side.  Striker Aaron Drinan played for the Blues  in the game and it was his last match for the club  as  he joins Ipswich Town in a £100,000 move in the new year. This was Waterford's third defeat of the season in league football and hopefully their last game in Division One for many years to come. 

Cobh Ramblers  Paul  Hunt, Ben  O’Riordan, Cian  Kingston, Christopher  McCarthy (capt);  John Kavanagh, Stephen  Christopher, Darren Murphy, Cian  Coleman, Kevin Taylor;  Dave Hurley,  Cian Leonard.

Subs. Ian  Mylod for Christopher (70 mins), Peter  Callanan for Leonard (83 mins),Charlie  Fleming for Hurley (88 mins)

Ian McLoughlin; Conor  Whittle,  Jack Lynch, Sean Heaney;  Garry Comerford,  Paul Keegan (capt), Anthony McAlavey, Dean Walsh;  Sander Puri,  Aaron Drinan,  Dean O’Halloran.

Subs.  Timmy Sobewale for Puri (63 mins), Colm Whelan for O’Halloran (67 mins), Darryl Walsh for Keegan (78 mins), 

Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan (Cork). Assistants. Eoin Harte and Jason Mannix.

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