cup joy for waterford

06 March 2019

Waterford IT are the 2019 RUSTLERS CFAI Cup winners after a 2-1 victory over TU Dublin Blanchardstown in Whitehall.



Two first half goals from Shane Nolan and Mark O'Keefe proved to be enough to fend off the challenge of Blanchardstown who applied great pressure in the second half to force an equaliser.

It was an electric opening fifteen minutes with Paul Martin and Colin McCabe both being forced into a number of save from the likes of O'Keefe and Mikey Scott.

Waterford took the lead on twenty minutes when Shane Nolan capitalised on Jamie Coyne's loose clearance and glided past the last-ditch challenges of the Blanchardstown defenders to poke the ball past McCabe.

Adham Masood had two opportunities to extend the lead but was denied by smart saves from McCabe. McCabe could not prevent O'Keefe from doubling the lead when he struck Nathan Brennan's throw-in on the half-volley from the edge of the box.

Blanchardstown decided to freshen things up in the second half and brought George Mukete on at the interval. Within four minutes, Mukete had delivered for his side when he diverted Steven Ball's corner past Martin.

Blanchardstown remained a threat in the second half from set-plays with Andy McKenna causing Waterford some difficulty with long throws however Martin was rarely put under too much strain, collecting a number of balls into the box calmly. Waterford had opportunities to extend their lead on the counter attack with O'Keefe dragging his shot wide in the closing stages.

Waterford would hold on for their seventh success in the competition, their first since 1999.

TU Dublin: McCabe, O'Riordan, Coyne (Mukete 46'), McKenna, O'Donovan, O'Sullivan, Manley, Hollywood (Byrne 73'), Scott, Ball, Abulu

Waterford IT: Martin, Breslin, Brennan, Walsh, Smithers, Reidy, Hersee (Hickey 78'), McGinley (Flanagan 90'), O'Keefe, Nolan (Rea 85'), Masood

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