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Dutton the hero as late strike helps Saints on way to Thomas Scott Cup

RATHNEW AFC 1 ST. ANTHONY’S KILCOOLE UNITED FC 1

(AFTER EXTRA TIME) (ST. ANTHONY’S WON 4-2 ON PENALTIES)

Lee Dutton was the hero on the double as St. Anthony’s lifted the Thomas Scott (Division 1) Cup.

The midfielder scored the dramatic last-gasp equaliser to force extra time on Saturday evening at Pat O’Toole Park in Rathdrum.

Then slotted in the winner penalty as the Kilcoole outfit picked up silverware on their return season to the Wicklow League.

Goalkeeper Robert McNamee also took the plaudits when saving once in the shoot-out. He saved the Yellow and Green’s fourth attempt from Gary Byrne with skipper Dean Franey’s first effort having come back off the post. In between, Jody Merrigan and Nicky Mernagh converted.

But so did Patrick Woods, Kyle O’Reilly and former Wicklow League player of the year Darren Collopy for the Kilcoole team with captain Larry Kenna seeing his penalty denied by Johnny Byrne.

It was left it up to Dutton to score his 12-yarders to seal victory and spark wild celebrations in the United camp.

The win comes just a week after the Villagers had defeated the Saints in the Wicklow Cup Semi Final.

But the Goosebankers extracted some semblance of retribution by taking the Divisional competition in a campaign that has seen them promoted to the Andy McEvoy Premier Division.

It didn’t seem that way when the Shamrock Park based side hit the front after 52 minutes.

Dean Franey dinked a free midway through their opposing half into the box. Mark Doyle – who had equalised in the Wicklow Cup tie – span off his mark, to control with his chest. Then crashed a ten-yard half volley to the roof of the net.

It seemed all over bar the shouting when Dutton’s free from his inside own half was tipped onto the crossbar by Byrne two minutes into time added on.

Yet, there was still a twist as in truth. Rathnew tired. And St. Anthony’s kept plugging away. Kenna swung in a 94th minute corner which Dutton powered to the net with a fantastic header.

From the tip-off, referee Carl Doyle blew for full-time.

In the first period of extra time, Collopy inexplicably scuffed wide from six yards when latching onto Dan Lacey’s 97th minute centre. Then in the 99th minute, Shawn Paul Dunne hacked off the line to thwart Woods who’d met O’Reilly’s corner close-in.

RATHNEW AFC: Johnny Byrne; Rory Dowling, Jason Devlin, Dean Franey, Kristian Kearney; Nicky Mernagh, Gary Byrne, Eddie Doyle, Shawn Paul Dunne; Jody Merrigan, Mark Doyle. SUBS: Evan Doyle (for Kearney 36 mins), Michael Anthony Doyle (for Mark Doyle 89 mins), Dale Franey, Alan Hubbard, Jordan Graham, Kyle Devlin, Cian Hunter (all not used).

ST. ANTHONY’S KILCOOLE UNITED FC: Robbie McNamee; Stephen Hunt, Stafford Quaid, Mick Rooney, Declan Roper; Dan Lacey, Lee Dutton, Larry Kenna, Kyle O’Reilly; Patrick Woods, Darren Collopy. SUBS: Philip Doyle (for Lacey 99 mins), Darren Byrne, Tom O’Brien, Shane Creagh, Mark Petraci, Charlie Maguire, Craig Meehan (all not used)

REFEREE: Carl Doyle. ASSISTANTS: David Jameson, Michael Kennedy.

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