McConville Cup final
Muirhevna Mor 4 Quay Celtic 0
Micky O’Kane became the 27th player to score a hat-trick in a Summer League Cup final on Saturday night when he helped Muirhevna Mor secure an eleventh consecutive McConville Cup triumph.
The experienced frontman struck twice after the break, adding to his first-half effort, as the Blues added to their league and Top Four Cup wins at Oriel Park. It’s the third piece of silverware Peter McGinn’s men have picked up in three weeks.
To round the scoring off, Adrian Rafferty rammed home ‘Mor’s fourth goal in stoppage time as Quay’s woes were compounded.
Though Quay were highly competitive and had plenty of chances themselves, the holders assumed control from an early stage with Anto McLaughlin their heartbeat in midfield.
The last McConville Cup final between the teams came a decade ago when O’Kane proved Muirhevna Mor’s matchwinner. Just the solitary goal separated the sides on that occasion, a total which divided the outfits in each of their four previous meetings this term.
The Point Road team’s only win over the holders this campaign was in the semi-final of the Clancy Cup, though they began this showpiece on the front foot with Mario Kolak having two gilt-edged opportunities.
Having struck narrowly off-target as early as the fifth minute, Kolak squandered a two-on-one opportunity, opting to pass to the offside Que Olula rather than taking the chance on himself.
And Quay were made pay for their wastefulness when O’Kane raced onto Gary Clarke’s through ball before passing nonchalantly by the outrushing Kevin Mullan.
Chances were traded before the interval with Olula grazing the post prior to Chris Caulfield – who was a rock at the back for ‘Mor – heading wide from inside the six-yard box.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time, Quay had the best openings of the game’s third-quarter. The most blatant of which saw substitute Ian Devine somehow shoot over after Shaun O’Connor had seemingly given him a tap-in at the town end goal.
It was an opportunity the Clancy Park men would rue as O’Kane doubled his tally on the breakaway with a stylish pass to the bottom corner.
The goal appeared to break Quay’s resolve in the game, though O’Kane looked to have wasted his chance at claiming the match ball when seeing his third shot of the contest saved by Mullan.
However, he brought up his three-goal haul with five-minutes to play before Rafferty drove home ‘Mor’s fourth in added time.
It was a scoreline hardly reflective of the part Quay played in a thoroughly entertaining game. Though, ‘Mor were more than convincing winners.
Along with claiming the McConville Cup, Muirhevna Mor receive a new set of CX Sport jerseys.
Muirhevna Mor: Michael Cooney; Brian Begley, Chris Caulfield, Seán Dixon, Ray McCann (Craig Dixon 89); Gary Clarke, Anto McLaughlin (Adrian Rafferty 72), Stephen Woods, Darren Tuite (Seán Conlon 50); Damian Ralph (Brendan Hughes 50), Micky O’Kane (Andy McDermott 90)
Subs not used: Andy Gray, Gino Cooney
Quay Celtic: Kevin Mullan; Gavin Toner, Jimmy Byrne, Mickey Burke (David Boyle 68), Brian McCluskey; Shaun O’Connor (Shane McKenna 90), Johnny Winters (Seán Matthews 65), Cormac Reid, Vinny Smith; Mario Kolak (Ian Devine 54), Que Olula (Barry Carr 74)
Referee: John Crawley