Dingle all the way as Cabra men emerge from epic title battle

by Gazette Reporter
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By Jonny Stapleton

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A late Philly McMahon strike settled one of amateur football’s tightest title tussles in the favour of Dingle United. 

It was photo-finish stuff as the Cabra side claimed the Leinster Senior League Division 3A title by a point with victory on the final day.

United went into the only game in the division last weekend knowing three points would see them leapfrog Ashbourne United and more importantly Enniskerry YC to finish top of the league.

Considering they took on  basement side Cherry Orchard victory looked a foregone conclusion, but with just over 10 minutes of their season remaining the trophy was on its down the M50 toward Enisskerry.

There were to be no easy pickings at the Orchard, the Ballyfermot side dug in their heels and were level up until 77 minutes when McMahon produced the goods.

The cool finish was enough to allow the Cabra faithful to take the longest chilled bottle of champagne off the ice and prompted wild away celebrations.

It may not be the most prestigious of the LSL titles on offer this season, indeed it’s the second lowest-ranked of division across the Sunday and Saturday spectrum – but that didn’t mean it meant any less to Dingle or their supporters.

It also doesn’t mean the title race wasn’t hard-fought or the trophy didn’t have to be earned.

Cabra, Enniskerry and Ashbourne went at it hammer and tongs for the entire season, between them they won 45 games and scored over 150 goals.

Top spot changed hands a number of times and after all, was said and done only three points separated the top three.

A solid run of wins put the power in Enniskerry’s hands going into their final game of the season only for Cabra to spoil their party.

The Dublin side registered a 2-1 win on February 11 to put the title’s faith in their hands – and they didn’t waste the opportunity to seal the deal on the final day.

McDonagh opened the scoring just after the 30-minute mark had passed, giving the visitors a lead going into the break.

Cherry Orchard then threatened to spoil the party when 10 minutes after the turn around they leveled things up.

However, McDonagh popped up again to make sure Dingle won the game and the title finding the back of the net with 13 minutes to go.

Balrothery FC also claimed a Saturday title over the weekend. The Dublin side made sure and then some as they beat Blessington 8-2 on the final day to make sure they lifted up the Division 3B title. 

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