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A ‘no lose’ Cup Final for Westport United

Sport

PAST MASTER The experienced Dave Hoban has been lining out with the Westport United ‘C’ team this season.

Preview

Oisín McGovern

WHATEVER the outcome of next Sunday’s Premier Cup Final between Westport United’s ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams, an evening in ‘Danny’s’ bar in Westport will be enjoyed by everyone involved afterwards.
That was the message from Joe Kelly, one of the managers involved in a truly unique Cup Final that will see Milebush painted black and red.
And whether the winners are Kelly’s ‘B’ side or the ‘C’ team — who are managed by Michael Horan and Alan McLoughlin — silverware will be making its way back to Westport this weekend.
Besides the novelty and uniqueness that will accompany the occasion, this will also be a meeting of two teams who have recently lifted silverware.
Back in September, a Cian Gill-inspired Westport United ‘B’ claimed the Tuohy Cup after a 2-1 win over Iorras Aontaithe.
Just last week, Michael Horan’s young guns were crowned League 2 champions after being undefeated in the entire campaign, dropping just two points along the way.
The ‘Bs’ are replete with good young players like Cian Gill, but they will badly miss the suspended duo of Brandon Scahill and Adam Diamond Keane.
However, like all good ‘B’ teams, they are buttressed by experienced campaigners such as Kieran Cuddy, Michael Gibbons and Niall Quinn.
The ‘C’ team, on the other hand, bely the stereotype of most club’s third team.
Instead, United use this grade to bring through a de-facto ‘academy team’ consisting of mainly 16 year-olds to 19-year-olds, five of whom are currently in the Westport United Super League squad, including rising star Dylan O’Malley.
Veterans like David Hoban, Austin O’Malley and Dave O’Kelly also provide vital experience for Horan’s young guns.
“Both teams are very different,” says Joe Kelly. “We have an older group of lads coming towards the end and then we’ve the young lads. The ‘C’ team is built around a lot of very young players who are fresh in the legs. It’ll be a huge test for us,” says the former United player, who has spent several years coaching underage United teams.
“They haven’t been beaten all year, so we’ll be underdogs going into it. Our older lads are looking forward to it.
“Every visit they can make to Milebush they’re delighted, because they don’t when the next one will come. It’s big for them and it’s unique.
“There’s a good bit of banter to it,” he adds. “Win, lose or draw it’s a great day for the club. “It’s great for both sets of players. I know every single one of them will go out and enjoy it.”

Fixture
Calor Gas Premier Cup Final
Westport United B v Westport United C

Sunday, December 12
Solar 21 Park at 1.30pm
Referee: J Cawley

 

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