Wednesday, 17 November 2010 12:08
Deadly Darren Coen gave a master class in clinical finishing at Milebush Park to lead impressive Claremorris to victory over Bangor Hibs in the Quigley Cup final on Saturday. The talented striker Coen scored four goals as his side deservedly lifted the title for the first time since 1989 and for only the second occasion in the club's history. His remarkable achievement was launched after 10 minutes when he directed the ball sweetly past Hibs goalkeeper Martin Rowland following a penetrating delivery by Conor Brennan. The Bangor defenders were waiting for an offside flag to be raised when the unmarked Coen secured possession and
they were ruthlessly punished for their misjudgement.
Coen increased the margin eight minutes later when he nodded Andrew Shally's probing delivery from the left into a corner of the Bangor net.
A rout appeared to be on the cards until Hibs pulled a goal back in the 21st minute, the lively Darren McManamon finding space behind the Claremorris rearguard before scoring from close range.
It initiated a period of dominance by the north Mayo side during which Barry McAndrew, David Conroy, Liam Doolin and McManamon battled exceedingly hard to get Hibs back on level terms.
But their honest efforts were disappointingly undone five minutes before the interval when uncertain defending cost them a third goal as Coen completed his hat trick, the opening created for him by Gareth Gleeson.
The goal angered the Bangor players as they claimed goalkeeper Rowland had been impeded shortly before the opportunity fell to Coen.
Rowland came to his side's rescue early in the second half by producing a save of the highest quality from the skilful Gleeson.
Then Hibs grabbed a 63-minute lifeline. Referee Pat Foley awarded them a penalty when Aiden Butler was harshly adjudged to have controlled the ball with an arm after clearly making an adjustment to take it on his chest
Inspirational Bangor defender Darragh Carey converted from the spot with assurance.
But any hopes of a Hibs recovery were instantly dashed as Gleeson swivelled stylishly in the Bangor 18-yard box before finishing off a lightening attack involving Coen and Nicky Pilbrow.
Bangor refused to lie down and Shane Murphy was unlucky to see a decent headed effort rebound off a post from Darragh Carey's perfectly-measured free kick.
Claremorris killed off the issue with five minutes remaining. Coen capped a man-of-the-match winning display with his fourth goal thanks to creative play by James Stretton and substitute Stephen Coen.
There was a late twist when Bangor were awarded a second spot-kick, from which Carey scored to make it 5-3.
But it came too late to seriously threaten a confident Claremorris outfit in their quest to end a 21-year wait since last winning the title.
When presenting the cup to Andrew Shally, Claremorris captain, Pat Quigley paid tribute to the two teams for serving up a memorable final.
The game marked the first time in the county an electronic board was used for substitutions and indicating added time, and the official responsible for it on the day was fourth official, Aiden Nevin.
Bangor Hibs 3
Claremorris: G. Grant, C. Brennan, J. Shaughnessy, A. Butler, P. Mannion, N. Pilbrow, J. Stretton, J. Hutton, G. Gleeson, D. Coen, A. Shally.
Subs used: S. Coen, C. Kelly, A. Peters.
Bangor Hibs: M. Rowland, C. Grealish, C. Carey, D. Carey, M. Burke, S. Murphy, D. McManamon, L. Doolin, B. McAndrew, D. Conroy, D. McManamon.
Subs used: S. McKenzie, S. Gallagher, J. Lindsay.
Ref: P. Foley (Westport).
●Star rating: Darren Coen. . .a master class by the striker.
Pictured is Claremorris captain Andrew Shally receiving the Quigley Cup from Pat Quigley. Also in the picture is Tom Mullin, chairman of the Mayo Schoolboys/Girls & Youths League. Photo: Ken Wright.