Crusaders have won the seventh edition of the Setanta Sports Cup by beating Derry City in a penalty shoot out at the Oval.
The game was scoreless until Derry’s Rory Patterson opened the scoring ten minutes from the end of the 90.
Colin Coates headed a controversial equalizer on 85 minutes from a ball played into the Candystripes six yards. The controversy occurred from the fact that Derry goalkeeper Gary Doherty had apparently been taken out as he came for the ball on the edge of the six yard box.
There was more drama to follow before the end of normal time with Crues’ Stephen McBride given his marching orders for a second yellow card in the closing moments. This was followed soon after by the final whistle of normal time. Having gotten themselves right back into the match, it looked as if the Belfast outfit were going to be up against it with a man less for the 30 minutes of extra time.
Coates scored his second of the afternoon five minutes into over time. A corner was played into the Derry box which goalkeeper Doherty didn’t deal with. Having come through a crowd of bodies, the custodian probably should have punched the ball but instead flapped at it. Coates was first to react and prodded the ball home from the edge of the six yard box.
Patterson levelled things up again from the penalty spot on 102 minutes when his shot was handled by Paul Leeman inside the box and referee Raymond Crangle correctly pointed to the spot. Patterson planted his shot into the right hand corner. Crues ‘keeper Seán Ó’Neill got a firm hand on it but the ball trickled over the goal line off the post and the game was headed to penalties.
There was one miss apiece from the first five penalties and we were into sudden death. Dermot McAffrey then had his penalty saved by O’Neill. Substitute Gareth McKeown proceeded to step up and slam his penalty into the right hand corner and Crusaders were All-Ireland champions for the first time with the Setanta Sports Cup returning to the six counties for the first time in five years.
Crusaders: O’Neill, McBride, Leeman, Magowan, Coates, Morrow, Adamson (McKeown 91), Rainey (Snoddy 96), Caddell (Gargan 111), Dallas, Watson.
Derry City: Doherty, Madden, S McEleney, McBride (McCallion106), McCaffrey; P McEleney, Molloy, Higgins, McLaughlin (Morrison 63); McDaid, Patterson.