Jubilee celebrations as Meath double up
PUBLISHED: 12:59 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:19 05 October 2010
By JONATHAN CLEGG MEATH United proved that a week is a long time in football by lifting the Jubilee Cup with a strong second half performance against East London Sunday League Division One rivals Prospect on Sunday. Seven days earlier, Meath had surrend
By JONATHAN CLEGG
MEATH United proved that a week is a long time in football by lifting the Jubilee Cup with a strong second half performance against East London Sunday League Division One rivals Prospect on Sunday.
Seven days earlier, Meath had surrendered a two-goal half-time lead and collapsed to defeat by Rolls Park in the Senior Cup final.
But on this occasion, Meath showed the battling qualities that had seen them go through the entire league season unbeaten - taking the lead after the break and sealing a deserved triumph with two late goals after Prospect had drawn level.
In the fourth meeting between the two sides this season - and the first to be decided in 90 minutes - John Quinn had given Meath a 63rd-minute lead.
Although Prospect equalised 10 minutes later, goals from Tommy Roast and Paul Linger ensured that Meath avoided another cup slip-up.
"It was a great way to sign off the season, especially after the disappointment of last week," said club secretary Terry Simmons.
"We did the double in the end, but it could easily have been a treble-winning season."
In a nervy opening to the match, both sides appeared anxious not to make a decisive mistake and the first half was a cagey affair.
Meath began to dictate play in the final 20 minutes but neither side was able to create a clear sight of goal and the contest was still deadlocked when the half-time whistle sounded.
Meath continued to play with greater purpose after the interval and they were soon rewarded when Roast slipped a neat pass into the path of Quinn, who slotted home the opening goal.
Yet Prospect appeared galvanised by falling behind and they were back on level terms 10 minutes later with a well-worked goal.
Having dominated the majority of the match, Meath must have feared a second cup final collapse inside seven days but any anxiety proved short-lived.
Within two minutes, Roast had restored their advantage, forcing the ball over the line from close range.
With Meath back in control, it was only a matter of time until a third goal came along and it duly arrived 12 minutes from time.
Paul Linger's looping cross from the right side drifted beyond the goalkeeper and into the top corner to put the match beyond Prospect's reach.
The outcome clinched a remarkable league and cup double for Meath and put the seal on one of the most successful seasons in the club's history.
"It's going to be difficult to improve on this season," admitted Simmons. "We had talked about trying the Hackney and Leyton League next year, but we've been in the East London League for 29 years and we might as well defend our title next year.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.