Rovers upset the odds

G&H Challenge Cup Semi Finals Castlerea Celtic …………………… 0  Skyvalley Rovers ………………… 1 Dave Dibble Skyvalley Rovers are in the G&H Challenge Cup final following a hard-earned one nil win over Castlerea Celtic at the St. John’s Athletic ground in Lecarrow. Skyvalley Rovers started in a very determined mood and piled on the pressure on the Castlerea Celtic back four. Castlerea keeper Greg Bruen was in action a number of times in the opening minutes. However, it was Castlerea Celtic who came nearest to scoring when Damien Garvey’s header came back off the Skyvalley Rovers’ crossbar after fifteen minutes of play. The deadlock was broken when Skyvalley Rovers made the breakthrough after twenty six minutes of play when David Grehan received the ball from Patrick Clogher who took on the Castlerea Celtic defence and got in a good left footed shot on target, but Castlerea Celtic ‘keeper Bruen did well to parry the ball. However, Cormac McDonnell was in quickly to finish and score the opening goal. Castlerea Celtic picked up two yellow cards in the first half of this game. The first went to Derek Mulhall for dissent and Damien Garvey for a late tackle. Skyvalley Rovers’ Fergal Costello headed a John Galvin free kick just inches wide and David Grehan also saw his header flash wide past Bruen in the Castlerea Celtic goal. Rovers’ Benny Lynch then saved well to deny Celtic. Ronan Curran and Nigel Brooks denied Shay Heneghan with a timely tackle to go in at half time one nil up. Castlerea Celtic’s final ball in the first half was poor and with Skyvalley Rovers’ midfield well on top, Celtic had to settle for half chances in the first half. The second half started with Castlerea Celtic gaining control and the Skyvalley back four were stretched on many occasions. The first change came when Castlerea Celtic took off front man Conor McSharry and brought on Darragh Bruen. Celtic had a number of chances to level the game but the Skyvalley Rovers back four defended well to keep Celtic at bay. As the game wore on, Skyvalley Rovers gained some control and John Galvin and Conor Duignan came close to sealing a victory. However only a brilliant goalmouth clearance by Fergal Costello denied Shane Heneghan an equaliser with seventeen minutes left to play. That proved to be Castlerea Celtic’s best effort and Skyvalley Rovers held on to win a place in the final and a chance to win the Cup for the eighth time. Skyvalley Rovers: Benny Lynch, Brian Croffy, Nigel Brooks, Fergal Costello Patrick Clogher, Damien Caulfield, Vinnie Costello, Conor Duignan, John Galvin, Cormac McDonnell David Grehan, Gerard Caulfield, Sean Glennon Brendan Mulleady and Frank Creavin. Castlerea Celtic: Greg Bruen, Peter Hestor, Dermott Henry, Trevor Kelly, Damien Garvey, Ronan Mugan, Shay Heneghan, Ronan Curran, Derek Mulhall, Cathal Dineen, Pakie ‘Brien, Paul Martin, Darragh Bruen, Declan Murphy. Referee: Robbie Stokes, assistants Tom Grenham and Martin Nolan. Match of the Match Fergal Costello, who never stopped running and was outstanding at the back for Rovers. Manager’s comments Skyvalley Rovers Manager Alan Grehan told the People that he was delighted with his team’s display. ‘It was the best game of our season and we are looking forward to the final.’