CLARA Town eventually claimed the Oliver Ward Cup on Sunday on penalties after a truly memorable encounter with Edenderry Town in Gainstown that had just about everything.
Clara Town B 4
Edenderry Town B 4
(aet Clara won 5-4 on pens)
Clara had lead by 3-0 at half-time thanks to a hat-trick from Paddy Guilfoyle and they also had a man advantage after Edenderry ‘keeper Ciaran Cummins was sent off after 25 minutes.
Clara took full advantage to take what looked like a match winning lead but their own net minder Kevin Sammon saw red just after the break for a professional foul on Lorcan Pender.
Edenderry battled back brilliantly after that and thanks to a hat-trick from super sub Mark Nolan they found themselves 4-3 up entering the last ten minutes. Clara eventually responded and a volley from Alan Cronin late in the game forced the game to extra-time.
With the final kick of the extra-time Edenderry thought they had won the game when Shane Forde curled a super free kick into the back of the net but the celebrations were short lived as it was ruled out as it was an indirect free kick that was awarded for a high boot.
Forde’s luck was not in on the day as after a fine game, the hard working midfielder was the unfortunate player who missed the crucial penalty as his kick was saved by stand in Clara ‘keeper Joey Deehan, his second save of the shoot-out.
See this week’s Offaly Express for full report and photographic coverage.