St Mochta’s lift the cup following dramatic comeback victory

St Mochta’s lifted the FAI Intermediate Cup for the first time in their history following a dramatic 2-1 comeback victory over Killester Donnycarney at Tallaght Stadium.

And Brian McCarthy’s side remain in the hunt for a coveted league and cup double as they pursue league leaders Malahide United as LSL Sunday Senior draws to a close.

Mochta’s, who beat Malahide 1-0 in the semis to set up the showdown with Killester, are six points behind their north Dublin rivals with two games in hand – and just four remaining.

That means their league fate is still in their hands, but before they could even consider that there was the small matter of amateur football’s biggest prize.

The disruption to the football calendar meant the tie was played in neutral Tallaght as opposed to the established Intermediate and Junior Cup showcase at the Aviva Stadium each May.

And the 92nd edition of the prestigious cup was always bound to end with a new name etched on the trophy as the two sides contested the final for the first time.

For Killester Donnycarney, formed just two years ago from the merger of Killester United and Donnycarney, it would have been a feat in itself.

For Mochta’s, however, it’s the culmination of more than 70 years hard graft that has seen massive strides made over the past two decades.

The Clonsilla side made it as far as the semi-finals once before, in 2014, the same year they gained promotion to LSL Sunday Senior as champions.

This year they were determined to go not one but two steps better, but they were made to work for it by a classy Killester Donnycarney outfit stacked with ex-League of Ireland talent.

The Gary Howlett-managed side took the lead on the half-hour through the artful foot of former Bohemians midfielder Stephen Chambers.

Mochta’s regrouped at half time, however, and levelled the game up through Karl Somers before Denis Moran landed the winning goal nine minutes from time.

The game was played behind closed doors due to the most recent restrictions placed on live sporting events by the government, but that couldn’t take away from the drama on the field.

The first half belonged to Killester Donnycarney, who controlled the tempo and saw early efforts from Chambers, Eoin Fowler and Josh Scully threatened Craig Hyland’s goal.

Hyland, who played his football in Tallaght with Shamrock Rovers in his professional days, could do little about Chambers’ penalty, however, when Gavin Kearney felled Stephen Nolan in the box.

It took a goal-saving clearance from former Shelbourne star Alan Byrne to deny Killester a two-goal lead heading into the break and it proved the turn of fortune Mochta’s needed.

Slowly the game turned after the break and Mochta’s found themselves on level terms with just 15 minutes remaining.

Karl Somers’ cross from wide on the left evaded everybody, including Killester keeper Evan Moran, and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

Mochta’s have only lost two games all season and they needed little invitation to complete the job, a clinical effort from 15 yards from Moran sealing a historic first cup win for the Saints.

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