Magheraveely 1 Enniskillen Athletic 2

Enniskillen Athletic defeated run away league winners Magheraveely 2-1 to claim the Division Two League Cup.

Goals from Gavin Greene and Conor Love gave Athletic a two goal lead, and although a late strike from Warren Stewart threatened a Magheraveely comeback, Athletic held on to claim the trophy.

Eighteen points separated the two sides in the final league table and Athletic had been on the wrong end of a 3-0 score line against Magheraveely just over a month ago, but they lifted their game for the final and manager Anthony Fitzpatrick believed it was a deserved victory.

“We went into it as second favourites after them romping the league, but I knew if we could get a full side out we could be a match for anyone in that division, and on the day I thought we were very good value for it,” he said.

“We started poorly enough but once we settled in we were the better team. We went one nil up and I thought we could have had one or two more before the break.

“They scored in last couple of minutes and once they scored they threw a few long balls in but we dealt with most of them and Ryan McNulty made one good save to keep us in it. It would have been a shame to throw it away because we were good value for it.”

Magheraveely boss Brian Smith conceded that his team struggled to match the high standards they had set during the league campaign.

“It seemed to be one game too much for us after a long season,” he admitted.

“We have to take our chances and Enniskillen’s used the pace up front and took their chances well, but a Division Two Championship, a Mulhern Cup Semi Final and runners up in the Division Two Cup wasn’t a bad season “

From the first whistle it seemed as if the league form would continue as Magheraveely dominated the opening stages of the match.

Enda Hessin has been a key player during the season, but his two missed chances allowed Athletic to get a foothold in the game, and they went into the lead after 15 minutes when Gavin Greene ran onto a Stevie Curley through ball and lifted his shot over the keeper.

Greene then had a shot saved after he cut in from the left wing, and Conor Love had a shot blocked before the half time interval.

On the hour mark, Athletic extended their lead when Gavin Greene gathered a pass and laid it into the path of Conor Love, who chipped the keeper.

Both sides had opportunities in front of goal, but it took Magheraveely until the 80th minute to pull one back through Warren Stewart.

They tried to pile on the pressure in the closing moments as they searched for an equaliser but the Athletic defence held firm.

The game ended in dramatic fashion with an altercation seeing three players and one member of the coaching staff dismissed by the referee, but the Enniskillen side emerged with the trophy.