06 March 2013
THE CFAI Umbro Cup returned to IT Carlow for the third time in four years after a tense final against Waterford IT at Tallaght Stadium.
Holders IT Carlow were handed a massive opportunity to take control of the game in the fifth minute when Waterford keeper Cormac O'Brien took down Ben Ryan in the penalty area. Barry O'Mahony took the spot kick but O'Brien redeemed himself by making an impressive save.
Andy Mulligan had a chance to put the holders in front in the 17th minute but he dragged his shot across the face of Waterford's goal.
Waterford had a decent chance to take the lead on the half hour when Craig Maguire got behind the Carlow defence but his tame shot deflected off defender James Scallan and keeper Craig Sexton reacted well to save.
WIT keeper O'Brien produced an excellent stop from an impressive long distance strike by Conor O'Keefe in the 53rd minute as the breakthrough continued to evade both sides.
The introduction of substitute Adam Hanlon changed all that for Carlow IT. The Shelbourne winger produced a brilliant cross from the right and Ben Ryan headed home to open the scoring in the 62nd minute.
Ryan returned the compliment for Hanlon in the 78th minute when he set up Hanlon for a clear strike on goal but Hanlon failed to hit the target and spurned a great chance to wrap the game up.
The same two players combined again in the 83rd minute with Ryan's passing setting up Hanlon for a low strike that beat the keeper but ricocheted back off the bottom of the WIT upright.
WIT threw everything into carving an equaliser but it failed to materialise and IT Carlow held onto the trophy.
IT CARLOW: Craig Sexton; Conor O'Keefe, James Dermody, Jamie Carr, James Scallan, Barry O'Mahony, Neil Heffernan, Gary Shaw, Ben Ryan, Andy Mulligan, Ray Foy.
Subs: Adam Hanlon for Shaw 59, Eric Molloy for Heffernan 89
WATERFORD IT: Cormac O'Brien, Connor Morrissey, John Frost, Adam Heaslip, Dylan Mernagh, Brian Nolan, David Cooley, Conor Coad, Mark O'Keefe, Craig Maguire, Ian Goulding.
Subs: Gary Delaney for Heaslip 68, AJ Lehan for Cooley 79,
REFEREE: Patrick Gleeson