Saturday, December 26, 2009

Butler hat-trick earns Neville crown for Glens

Neville Cup final:
Glenanne 3 (Stephen Butler 3) Corinthian 0
Stephen Butler’s second half hat-trick gift-wrapped Glenanne’s tenth Neville Cup title as the Tallaght club showed the greater know-how against a Corinthian competing for the first time in a St Stephen’s Day decider a Serpentine Avenue.

Butler struck from a corner, stroke and play after a cagey first half to give the Glens their first senior trophy of 2009, ending a calendar year with silverware after twice being pipped for honours at the final hurdle in the spring.

For the reds, the absence of five senior players – Andre w Cronje, Lucas Piccioli, Miles Warren, Dan Williams and Darren Kimfley – opened the door for their younger element to shine.

And they showed few nerves as they edged the opening half on chances. Butler was forced to take a Brian Doherty drag off the line while Alan Blennerhassett found the backboard from the third phase of a scrappy corner, though the whistle had long since gone for a free out.

Gareth Davis went close, too, with a deflection to Ben Murphy’s crash-ball but Stephen Doran – as he did all game – blocked well, though Davy Carson might have hoped for better contact to the ballooning rebound.

Carson was proving a menace at the sharp end of a triangular forward line, using his pace to race onto through-balls and a barrage of diagonal overheads while Henry Micks fought for control in the middle of the park.

The battle was one of intrigue rather than raw excitement, though, as neither side truly convinced in a scoreless first half.

Glenanne were slightly subdued as an attacking force; Butler’s corner drag – dealt with comfortably by Ross Murray – and Brendan Parsons’ searching ball to Alan Lewis their best openings.

Had Glen Holmes netted an inviting chance with an upright reverse in the first minute of the second half, the outcome may have been different. A measured defensive performance thereafter, with Joe Brennan and Butler patrolling the centrefield, squeezed out the red hordes.

But it was Graham Shaw who truly began to turn the screw in midfield as Glenanne became the side most likely to grab the game by the scruff of its neck. His spin and pull-back was well defended by Doherty but the second wave fell to Johnny Goulding in a position he normally revels in. Six yards out, though, Murphy got a vital stick in to block Goulding’s short-arm hit.

But the Tallaght club kept up the aggression and netted their second corner in the 42nd minute after Micks was adjudged to have scythed down Mick McGuinness inside the 25.

It seemed a harsh decision with the midfielder taking more than his fair share of ball but Butler showed no signs of a guilt complex and ripped in a brilliant flick past Murray’s stick-side.

Graham Shaw’s runs were cutting deeper into red territory while Alan Lewis’ flashing runs down the right channel opened a couple of inviting opportunities, one which Eddie O’Malley touched just wide.

But the tie was eventually sealed from the flick spot. Shaw and Shane O’Donoghue combined with the former barged over in the circle; Butler’s stroke made it 2-0.

And the dynamic sweeper completed the scoring with gaps opening all over the pitch, set up by Brendan Parsons neat pass in the circle for Butler to bang in a reverse from all of six yards.

The goal copper-fastened the Neville cup’s retention, leaving Alan Lewis and Mick McGuinness – as the Glens only players without a senior winner’s medal to date – to raise the trophy aloft.

Elsewhere, Munster’s Peard Cup final between Catholic Institute and Cork C of I was postponed due to frost while Ulster’s Kirk Cup final encounter between Banbridge and Cookstown was also laid up until the New Year.

Corinthian: Ross Murray, Alan Blennerhassett, Rowland Rixon-Fuller, Brian Doherty, Andrew Sutton (c), Henry Micks, David Carson, Chris Pelow, Ben Murphy, Barry Glavey, Glen Holmes
Subs: Gareth Davis, Rob Burke, Conor Motyer, Andrew Malcolm, Dan Gribben

Glenanne: Stephen Doran, David Shaw, Richie Shaw, Joe Brennan (c), Mick McGuinness, Stephen Butler, Graham Shaw, Jonathan Kane, Shane O’Donoghue, Paul Fitzpatrick, John Goulding
Subs: Brendan Parsons, Gary Shaw, Eddie O’Malley, Alan Lewis, Clinton Murphy

* For more photos from Glenanne vs Corinthian, click here


Anonymous said...

small correction Stephen - Colin Black was the fifth Corinthian person missing not Miles Warren. Black is out with a broken finger

Anonymous said...

well done Mick

Anonymous said...

Great to see a decent crowd at the game....

Anonymous said...

Go on lewie. Great speech. Glad to see u pick ip the cup