Meath suffer cup final meltdown
East London Sunday League MEATH United suffered a second-half meltdown to hand the East London Sunday League Senior Cup final to Rolls Park on Sunday. Meath had surged into a two-goal lead at the interval and looked to be on course for a possible treble
East London Sunday League
MEATH United suffered a second-half meltdown to hand the East London Sunday League Senior Cup final to Rolls Park on Sunday.
Meath had surged into a two-goal lead at the interval and looked to be on course for a possible treble ahead of next week's Jubilee Cup final, having wrapped up the league title last month.
But the Tower Hamlets outfit collapsed after half-time as Rolls Park fought back to draw level midway through the second period before completing an improbable comeback seven minutes from time.
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It was Meath's first defeat of the season and club secretary Terry Simmons was at a loss to explain his side's second-half surrender.
"We were cruising at half-time but they put us on the back foot in the second half and reversed the tables on us," said Simmons, whose side had overcome a two-goal deficit to defeat Rolls Park in the league earlier this season.
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"We had more than enough chances to wrap the game up but we were lacklustre in front of goal and that handed them the trophy."
Such an outcome would have been unthinkable when Meath started the match in dominant fashion and capitalised on a bright opening inside three minutes.
A good cross from the left side found Timmy Hamley, who headed home to give Meath an early lead.
Leon Ryan doubled the advantage five minutes before the break, racing clear and slotting his effort inside the far post.
Rolls Park's half-time team-talk worked wonders and within three minutes they had halved the deficit with a direct free-kick.
Meath created plenty of chances to put the result beyond doubt and twice hit the woodwork but Rolls Park rode their luck and levelled with 20 minutes remaining.
The recovery was complete seven minutes from time when Rolls Park broke forward to score their third goal and leave shell-shocked Meath wondering where it all went wrong.
l The East London Advertiser-sponsored Hospice Cup final takes place on Sunday with Hackney's New North Rangers and Stratford Juniors, from Newham, bidding to lift the trophy.
Admission to the final at the Ive Farm Sports Centre in Leyton is £1 and kick-off is at 2:30pm. All proceeds from the competition go to St Joesph's Hospice in Mare Street, Hackney.