2006 – St. Patrick’s Complete an unprecedented treble
St. Patrick’s 2 – 1 Linwood Rangers
Today’s Regional Cup final was not lost on those that attended the club’s Annual Presentation Dance last night. The guests were informed that the 2006 were preparing for the final the next day and therefore could not attend. The room reverberated with applause and we wished them well as they embarked on one last venture to secure an unprecedented treble.
The two bus loads of Linwood support added to an already good crowd milling around Petershill Park, eagerly anticipating a good final. They would not be disappointed. Passionate cheers from the terraces welcomed the two teams onto the field. Kick-off set the ball on its way to destiny. All that remained was the players to guide its journey. We started strongly and gained a foothold in these early exchanges. Linwood however did not travel to be passengers in a game of this importance. The battle for supremacy raged on. On our bench, a cup-tied Hamid looked on unable to affect the proceedings. Despite edging it on overall play the score remained goalless. We won a free kick which was delivered into the Linwwood danger area. The ball fell kindly to Bradley who swooped on the loose ball to beat the keeper and open the scoring in this tight encounter. The St. Patrick’s cheers echoed around the stadium. Wounded, a determined Linwood rallied. We held firm. Sean in goals had hardly been troubled. With three minutes to go to half-time however, Sean could do nothing when Linwood drew level. This time all the noise was from the blue corner. Linwood were back in contention and we all knew it. The nerves flared up again as we went to the break.
At the restart Adam took over in goals as we went back out to challenge for the trophy. Each team wanted it and it showed in the determination to win the ball. At the back, the pairing of Matthew and Bradley kept things tight. Determined play could be witnessed at every position. In midfield, wee Robert was never phased by his small stature. Playing with heart he matched his much bigger opponent stride for stride and never backed out of a physical battle. As the game slowly headed to the end with no team administering the knock out blow, anxiety was palpable in the stands. Among this heightened tension of nerves Adam in goals was calmness personified. His mature and confident handling of every ball that came his way helped us believe. With a few minutes left on the clock Matthew was tasked with the important mission of unlocking the Linwood defence. In the stands the talk had turned to penalties. Injury time beckoned. A Linwood attack was well defended. We regained possession in midfield and the ball was promptly played to Matthew up front. As the ball rolled past the last defender touched it on to his oncoming keeper. The keeper’s attempt to clear sliced the ball into mid-air and bounced to his right hand side. Matthew pounced on the loose ball, beating the defender and keeper for pace. With his left foot he rolled the ball into the empty net. Goooaaallll!!!!! The St. Patrick’s faithful went wild. Pure unbridled joy expressed through screams that filled the air in this lovely sunny morning. We naturally embraced without a second thought. In contrast, Linwood were distraught. Players had dropped to the ground conscious that an injury time goal had left them with no time to respond… They had run out of time and the referee confirmed soon after by blowing the final whistle. We’ve done it!…. The treble is ours!… League Champions, League Cup Winners and now Regional Cup Winners. An incredible achievement from an incredible team. As for Matthew, he deservedly collected the man of the match award for a great performance. A fantastic job by Alex, John, Jamie, Colin & Tony the coaches.
As Logan lifted another trophy aloft, the parents joy showed all the appreciation they had for their team. The hours spent on the road to training and games, small frustrations here and there, all seem worth it now as we enjoyed another trophy. Thank you 2006 for the wonderful memories. We are very proud of every single one of yous!