Trim Celtic U14As lifted the NECSL Cup in dramatic fashion after an extra-time winner against Raistin Rovers. Both teams had overcome significant rivals getting to the final with Trim beating Johnstown 6-2 in the semi-final and Raistin, who were just promoted from the 2nd Division, beating three Division 1 teams on their way.

Trim Celtic took the game to Raistin Rovers from the whistle and dominated the proceedings but were unable to find the net. In spite of the possession, Trim could not fashion many clear-cut chances and were thwarted by a well organised Raistin defence. The sides went in level at half time. After the half-time talk, Trim took the game to Raistin again and it wasn’t long before they made the possession count. From a Stephen Moroney free-kick into the box, the ball fell to Kevin Nally, who flicked it to the right and buried the ball from about 15 yards out – 1-0 to Trim Celtic!

Moments later, Raistin were level when Trim were caught flat-footed from Raistin’s first attack in open play. Despite further domination, Trim were unable to find the winner and the sides went into extra time with 10 minutes being played each half. Trim again went for the winner and had many chances but it didn’t take long until a fine move resulted in Trim going 2-1 up. Paul Kennedy played the ball into the box to Stephen Moroney who flicked it into the path of Kevin McKeown and he sent it to the top corner of the net – 2-1 up!

However, Raistin again pulled level within minutes when Trim failed to clear a corner. The game was set for penalties but with 2 minutes remaining, Kevin Nally took the ball down in the box and he skipped by two players and pulled the ball across the box to Robert Bourke who side-footed home for the winner. Robert’s post-goal behaviour resulted in a booking for his celebrations!

Overall this was an outstanding performance from the whole Trim Celtic team and they fully deserved their win, however, it was a fine performance from Raistin who contributed to a thrilling final. Best for Trim were Anthony Neary in defence, Craig Peppard on the wing and Kevin Nally who dominated midfield.