Astoria Gaels went in to their game against Fernbache F.C. on Sunday, knowing that a win would leave them third division champions. After five years of hard craft by Dave Clear, Vivion White, Pat Mulrey, Jimmy Ralph and Mark Bourke, the long wait was finally over. The strength of the Gaels this year has been the size of their panel.
Sunday’s game was set to start at 2 p.m., but Fernbache were late arriving and the ref called it a 2-0 forfeit victory. Astoria were thus crowned champions for the first time in their soccer history. They then proceeded to play Fernbache in a challenge game and immediately Kevin Nagle and Martin Reilly started to dominate midfield. Nigel McKenna went close and Dermot Moore shot wide after 10 minutes. Any attacks the Turkish squad had were finding a stone wall in Lloyd Canning and Steve Deharde at the back, so much so that captain Eugene Kyne in goal had a quiet half. After 25 minutes Kevin Nagle opened the scoring with a beautiful chip after great approach work by Joe Harris and McKenna.
The second half opened with Vivion White up front moving and shaking like Ronaldo and after 10 minutes he was sent through by McKenna from 18 yards White made no mistakes for the 2-0 lead. Kevin Nagle poached the third, his eighth of the season after a lovely run. Nestor Allen and John Beirne were now dominating the back and keeping Fernbache at bay. Nigel McKenna went close again before the whistle.
Rovers Reserves 1, Islip 0
The Rovers Reserves won their third straight championship on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Islip. The hero was Colm Sanders who scored the winner with a left foot shot midway through the second half. Islip put the Rovers defense under some pressure, but Willie Dempsey and Pat Brosnahan were outstanding at the back. Mick Kavanagh had another solid game as did Paul Kehoe up front. Congratulations to coach Brian Monahan
Islip Over 30s 2, Rovers 1
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An incredibly poor game from the local referee denied the Rovers, who had led with a first half goal from Nigel Cunniffe. Cunniffe was then scythed down in the area with 15 minutes to go, but no penalty was given, and in his frustration the often misunderstood Mancunian was redcarded by the referee. To add insult to injury, Islip were awarded a questionable corner, from which they equalized, and Islip went on to grab a late winner.