Oscar Traynor Trophy Final 2016
Leinster Senior League 2-5 Clare League
For the first time since 2004, Clare can call themselves All-Ireland champions after an inspired team performance led by the sensational David McCarthy helped them overcome the Leinster Senior League by 5 goals to 2 at Pearse Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was a deserved win for the Clare side who were remarkable all over the pitch but it was McCarthy, who scored four of Clare’s five, and his Newmarket Celtic teammate Eoin Hayes who were the star men on the day with two phenomenal performances.
Clare got off to the perfect start as Daragh Corry was brought down inside the LSL’s area after 5 minutes to win a penalty kick. Hayes stepped up and comfortably dispatched it to give Clare the early advantage.
Clare continued to edge out the chances and ten minutes later they were two to the good when Hayes slid a phenomenal defence-splitting pass to release McCarthy through on goal and his excellent finish left Evan Gaffney with no chance.
However, with 20 minutes gone, the Leinster men pulled a goal back with a penalty of their own as Chris Straessle stepped up to sweep it by Barry Ryan and into the net.
That would prove to be the final goal in an end-to-end first-half ripe full of chances as both sides went into the dressing room knowing the game was still all to play for.
However, the LSL couldn’t have got off to a worse possible start to the second half when barely three minutes into the half Eoin Lanigan was sent off, meaning the LSL would now have to chase the game a man down.
On 56 minutes, Clare took full advantage and restored the two goal deficit after a fantastic counter-attacking move. Hayes stormed down the wing before whipping it towards the back post where McCarthy was on hand to stamp the ball home to make it 3-1.
The LSL head’s refused to drop and five minutes after the hour mark, Straessle scored a wonder goal to ensure the game was far from finished.
However, seven minutes later McCarthy completed his hat-trick when full-back Darryl Eade’s ball found its way to the strikers feet and he hammered his finish into the back of the net.
Four minutes later the cup victory was sealed for Clare when Hayes again provided the assist for McCarthy who calmly slotted the ball home to add his fourth and Clare’s fifth to ensure there was no way back for the LSL.
So for the first time in 12 years Clare got their hands on the Oscar Traynor trophy in a historic victory which will live long in the memory of players, managers and fans alike.
Leinster Senior League: Evan Gaffney, Ian Cloone, Carl Redmond, Derek Griffin, Graham Dixon, Brian Mooney, Chris Straessle, Dermot Kennedy, Eoin Lanigan, Ian Tuohy, David Dempsey
Subs: John Paul Reilly for Dempsey, Daniel McGuinness for Mooney, Daniel Loughnan for Redmond
Clare League: Barry Ryan, Darryl Eade, Eoin O'Brien, Stephen Kelly, Paddy Purcell, Daragh Corry, Colin Smyth, Alan Kelly, Eoin Hayes, David McCarthy, Eoin Whelan
Subs: Joe Collins for Whelan, Brian Monaghan for Smyth, Stephen Carroll for Purcell
Subs Not Used: Mark Roche, Darren Whelan, Colin Nelson, Arek Mamala, Cathal McConigley, Darren Murphy