It was billed as a potential classic and that is how Saturday night’s TJ Moore Cup final turned out to be.
Muirhevnamor had high hopes of completing another league and cup double but Cox’s Throwbacks had other ideas and held out gallantly to lift the prestigious trophy.
The Throwbacks got off to a flying start in the 3rd minute when a blocked shot from Darren Toner rebounded to TJ Murtagh and he coolly dispatched his kick to the back of the net.
Things got even better for Cox’s in the 8th minute when Toner scored a second after a very good move involving Murtagh and McCabe.
Muirhevnamor relied on their vast experience in these situations and came more into the match, building from the back and creating chance after chance.
Ray McCann saw a good shot clear the crossbar and Anton Webb headed just wide from a Ger Rafferty cross but the Cox’s rearguard was resolute and bravely got bodies in the way time and again, they took their two goal lead into the interval.
Muirhevnamor controlled the opening stages of the second half and Webb saw a good header from a David Mahony cross go just wide.
The Throwbacks found themselves on the back foot for most of the period but they came close to wrapping up the game only to see a great free kick cleared off the line.
Keith McEneaney in the Cox’s goal was called upon on a number of occasions and he tipped over a great effort from Thomas Conway and thwarted Ger Rafferty at close range. The league champions kept going, though, and they sent the crowd wild when Webb got one back to set up a grand finale.
Muirhevnamor peppered the Cox’s penalty area and it took a great rearguard effort to keep them at bay. Paul Gartland played a captain’s role and marshalled his defence with aplomb while McEneaney again showed his mettle with a series of brave saves, none more so than diving at the feet of Rafferty.
Having weathered the storm, Cox’s man of the match, Wojciech Gladly, sent their fans into ecstasy when he picked the ball up on the halfway line and beat three defenders before dispatching the ball past David Cooney to restore the two goal lead.
Muirhevnamor brought the atmosphere to fever pitch with another goal in the dying minutes but their efforts were fruitless and the final whistle came as great relief to Cox’s Throwbacks.