Final overshadowed by a serious injury
Goodwick United 2-1 Cardigan
(Match abandoned after 75 minutes)
A SERIOUS injury to home defender Patrick Hughes overshadowed the John Bailey Memorial Cup final between Goodwick United and Cardigan at Phoenix Park.
Goodwick were leading 2-1 after 75 minutes when Hughes, who had impressed at right back, landed awkwardly after a 50-50 challenge.
The severity of the incident was obvious as both sets of players immediately called for an ambulance, and referee Sean O’Connor was left with little option but to blow the final whistle early. O’Connor then consulted with both camps, and it was agreed the 2-1 scoreline would stand.
The hosts could have been ahead inside a minute when Rhys Dalling saw his powerful left foot shot tipped over the bar by Cardigan keeper Neil Evans.
John Lumb then headed just wide at the other end, before Goodwick thought they had taken the lead when Wayne O’Sullivan nodded in a James Evans free kick. However, the goal was rightfully ruled out for offside.
Despite both side’s beginning their league campaigns next week, the first materialised into an intense affair, typified by Cardigan’s Ben Davies clattering into Kieran O’Brien and causing the midfielder to leave the field with a knee injury.
But Goodwick enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and they took the lead on the brink of half time when Scott Crawford controlled a Dalling cross and fired home.
Steve Blackford’s men continued to press after half time with both Ryan Howells and Blackford himself, on as a substitute, going close.
And 57 minutes in the home side did double the advantage when Dalling again set up Crawford who finished clinically.
Dalling should have then made the game safe when he hit the bar from close range, before Evans saw his follow up shot saved.
But then Cardigan came back into it and just moments after John Curran surged forward and shot straight at Gwilt, Cereth Jones made it 2-1 as he charged down a clearance from the keeper before tapping home.
But just when the game seemed set for a intriguing finish, Hughes suffered his injury and although the win was officially awarded to Goodwick, the result became almost irrelevant to players and supporters alike.
We at Telegraph Sport offer our best wishes to Patrick Hughes and wish him well with his recovery.
Goodwick United: James Gwilt, Darren Devonald, Wayne O’Sullivan, Anthony Couzens, Patrick Hughes, Lewis Banks, James Evans, Kieran O’Brien, Ryan Howells, Scott Crawford, Rhys Dalling. Subs: Aled Rees, James Bottomley, Steve Blackford.
Cardigan: Neil Evans, Rhys Davies, Alun Williams, Jack Thomas, Mike Diggle, John Curran, Justin Evans, Ben Davies, Adam Williams, John Lumb, Cereth Jones. Sub: Dan Nash.
Referee: Sean O’Connor.
Assistants: Kevin Bowen and Andrew Hopkin.