Liffey Wanderers were today crowned FAI intermediate Cup champions after a pulsating 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Cobh Wanderers in the Aviva Stadium.
In a scoreless first half Cobh had the ball in the net only for the linesman to intervene when Ian Stapleton scored. The fifty-fifty game was to turn on the seventy second minute when Clayton Maher opened the scoring for Liffey, a Lee Roche free from the left found the head of Maher and his header crashed off the crossbar, but the alert Maher followed the ball and nodded it home from six yards to put his side in front.
Cobh would not give up however and equalized with five minutes remaining, an Alan O’Flynn cross found Stephen Griffin, his audacious back heel could only be parried by Philip O’Connor and Conor Meade was on hand to power the ball home from close range to send the game into extra-time.
Liffey started extra-time the better and retook the lead four minutes in thanks to Aidan Roche, a long ball from Dylan Roche found it’s way to A,Roche courtesy of a slip from Brian Fitzgerald, Roche found himself through on goal and his wonderful curling effort left Michael Devine with no chance.
Cobh again would not give up and and one minute into injury time at the end of extra-time the found themselves on level terms again when along throw was headed on by Fitzgerald and that man again Conor Meade was on hand to slam the ball home to send the game into a penalty shoot-out.
Liffey came out on top by five goals to four and Anthony Gray was the man to score the winner much to the jubilation of the Liffey support, a wonderful effort from the Dublin side who only two years ago were FAI Junior Cup champions, cedit to Cobh on a fantastic run and there is definitely more to come from this talented side.