By DERMOT CLARKE
At the end of it all it was Darndale who lifted The Tommy Clements Cup courtesy of a 3-1 victory over a gallant Valley Park United. Only one of the four goals though was error free as mistakes were the order of the day.
The first half ended scoreless and although Darndale bossed it possession-wise, it was Valley that carved out the early opportunities.
In minute 2 Stephen Harte-nephew of the legend Brendan Harte-caught a half-volley on the meat but Dan Henry was right behind it and saved.
In the 12th minute Harte sent Dave Redmond scurrying up right. His cross was perfect had there been someone to meet it with a header.
Just after the quarter-hour mark Dylan Desmond picked Graham McEvoy’s pocked but Wayne Browne saved his effort.
Midway through Harte crossed for Graham who got under his headed attempt and Henry gathered. The closest we came to a goal in the first period though was when Carter fed Mickel McCabe who’s first effort was saved superbly by Brown. The rebound fell to the same man and he blasted inches wide.
The half ended tied at zilch but in the 55th minute disaster struck for ‘Dale. Anthony McEvoys cross from the left didn’t seem up to much but the unfortunate David Kelly turned it into his own net to give Valley the lead.
Midway through Kelly had the chance for redemption but Brown dived to his left to save the free-kick from 20 yards.
On 71 though Dale were level when substitute Shane Walsh fed McCabe and he clipped it over the top for Walsh who kept running and dinked it over Brown into the net.
With 8 remaining Darndale went in front when Craig Doyle under-cooked a back-pass and Neville Keegan was in a race with Brown. Both got a toe on it and the ball spun into the air before Keegan knocked it home with his shoulder and there were loud appeals for hand-ball.
It would have been a shame had that decided this year’s TC Cup but with 4 left Keith Carroll underclubbed a back-pass also and man-of-the-match McCabe rolled it across to Aaron Johnson who slotted home to make the final 3-1 to Darndale.
Darndale FC: Daniel Henry, Anthony Brady, Karl Lewis, David Kelly, Karl Bermingham, Adam Rock, Dylan Desmond, Adam Carter, Than Hand, John Walsh, Michael McCabe. Subs: Shane Walsh, Aaron Johnson, Dean Kenny, Paul O’Neill, Neville Keegan, Jason White, Shane Gillard.
Valley Park United: Wayne Brown, Andrew Tyson, Craig Doyle, Keith Carroll, Darren Hughes, Thomas Collins, Shamus Murray, Graham McEvoy, Stephen Harte, Dylan Graham, David Redmond. Subs: Anthony McEvoy, Graham Somers, Keith Williams, William Carroll, Sam Dla Dla, Kevin Brennan, Ian Brown.
Referee: Mark Houlihan. Assistants: Philip Nolan, Alin Suteu, Joe O’Hanlon (4th).