Crumlin United and Rush Athletic claim Club of the Year recognition at intermediate and junior levels
THE Leinster Senior League signed off on the 2018/19 season with a spectacular night of celebration with Crumlin United being named Intermediate Club of the Year and Rush Athletic claiming the junior club of the year.
By EAMON SCOTT
The night also saw referee Barry Fitzpatrick claim the Referee of the Year award while several services to football gongs were handed out by chairman Dave Moran.
Over 400 guests filled Moran’s Red Cow Hotel for the night of celebration and the league turned on the style with an impressive display of trophies and crystalware alongside a thoroughly professional delivery with Moran paying tribute to his executive for the smooth efficiency on the night while Mary and her staff at the Red Cow were name checked from the podium for their excellence in service.
On a night where the biggest cheer was reserved for Shane duffy’s equaliser in Copenhagen on the giant screen relaying events in the Euro 2020 qualifier, all recipients were celebrated with a deserved panache and a just reward for effort over the course of a long hard season.
Crumlin United picked up the league pennant which will fly proudly over Parse Park next season and Martin Loughran’s impressive squad were undefeated in a league campaign led by skipper Thomas Hyland who was also a member of Gerry Davis’ international tournament winning squad from the recent Jackson’s Jersey International quadrangular. The league also were represented by Craig Walsh of Crumlin and Adam Foley of Glebe North in that St Helier round-robin tournament which was won with three successive victories.
Crumlin also picked up the Metropolitan Cup following their recent win over Bluebell United after a marathon final in Whitehall recently while the Pearse Park side’s under 19s also claimed the David and Paddy Lanigan Cup.
The league’s representative Intermediate side took hold of the impressive Graham Harkness trophy following their victory over the Scottish amateur side at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown. Manager Andy Noonan was a popular visitor to the podium to collect the trophy on behalf of the league.
Bluebell made the trip to the podium as a club to collect the Major Saturday league title – an ultra competitive division with the men from Red Cow holding off great rivals Crumlin United for that particular league crown.
Chairman Moran jocularly suggested that James Lee was a better player than he was manager but then pointed out the Crumlin United intermediate midfielder had steered the league’s Oscar Traynor side to the semi-finals of the national interleague junior competition and were only defeated in a close game by the ultimate winners of the competition, the Limerick League. A brave effort by a very young side on behalf of the league.
While Crumlin were collecting the Intermediate Club of the Year Award – beating off Lucan United for the title, on the junior front Rush Athletic claimed the Junior Club of the Year award after an impressive treble of league titles at Major 1 Sunday, Division 3 Sunday and Division 3 Saturday.
They held off a strong challenge from an unlucky Rosemount Mulvey who were right in the mix for that particular gong with a league win in Major 1D and a cup double in the Noel Ryan and Tommy Carroll Cups sharing their own treble haul of silverware.
Ultimately the longer league campaign success appeared to have swayed the decision Rush’s way and that club success was hailed by a large contingent who had made the journey from the north Dublin coastal town who departed with four coveted awards back to St Catherine’s Park.
Chairman Moran was fulsome in his praise for the trophy display on the night which was compiled and arranged by league secretary Pat Kiernan, Keith Curtin and an honourable mention for league treasurer Chris O’Reilly.
Sponsors O’Neills Sports, represented by Sales Director Cormac Farrell and Sales Executive Mick Byrne were thanked for their continued support of the biggest grassroots adult league in the country while Lynx, Dublin Port and Strikeronline were also thanked for their contribution to the league
President Bernard Buckley was unavoidably absent but registrar Dave Lalor, vice chairman Tony Kearney along with executive members Roger Mahon, Brian Sheridan, Dave Grogan, Neil Hughes, Ken Boylan, Noel Keogh, Mick Byrne, Tony Dunne, Gavin Fleming, Mick Gleeson and Paddy McGrath were excellent ambassadors for the league over the course of the season as well excellent hosts for clubs and guests on the night.
There were also Services to Football Awards and they included John Young of Liffey Wanderers, referee Shay Travers, Tony McGiff of Confey FC, Joe Maughan of Killinarden/ Sacred Heart and Walter Moran of Dunboyne FC while the Fair Play recipient went to Celbridge Town FC with their award collected by Stan Moss.
Referees observers Victor Loughman, Emmanuel Rogers, George Young, Jimmy Treanor and Camillus Duffy were thanked for their diligence in their duties over the course of the season while Dave Moran also paid special tribute to the wives and partners of the executive of the league but also of players, managers and coaches who give their support so willingly and ensure that the league can continue to run as an effective unit.
The broad spread of trophies was an excellent indicator of the health of the Leinster Senior League and with many new new clubs applying to join their ranks, the continued expansion and development of the league is evidence of the appeal of the league and as indicator of how well and efficient it is as an administrative body.
Arguably, that attention of care to clubs is best evidenced by the presence of Ballybrack FC who finished runners-up to Finglas United for the Major 1C title.
The south county club attracted headlines for all the wrong reasons going back to the infamous ‘Fernando Affair’ The league however provided protection and encouragement and while some suggested that they be expelled from the league, the LSL deducted them six points and told them to get on with the business of playing football. no histrionics, just an appropriate and fair treatment for their silly transgression at the time.
Ballybrack came within an ace of winning the division and went down to the final day and ultimately finished just two points behind Finglas. A brave effort at the end of the day – but Ballybrack FC are as valued a member of the league as Senior Division champions Crumlin United.
That simply speaks volumes for the Leinster Senior League!
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