Rush Athletic’s resurgence as a force in Dublin football continued as they beat St Kevin’s Boys 2-0 in the Tom Carroll Cup final to secure their first cup in 16 years.
The north county club had reached a low ebb in recent times as their Sunday Major side dropped back into Saturday football due to an exodus of players.
But their Saturday Major 1A side has been at the forefront of that revival in recent seasons and are close to confirming a third consecutive promotion back to the second level of Saturday football.
In the cup final, early goals from Mark Doyle were enough for Rush to secure a comfortable victory over the high-achieving Kevin’s side who have thrived since making the move from the AUL last year.
Rush got off to the ideal start on a sunny Saturday evening, taking the lead in the second minute through the sharp-shooting Doyle.
Aaron Kelly nodded Jonathan Hanratty’s corner from the right back across goal, and Doyle was in the ideal position to head home from close range.
And the striker doubled his tally from the penalty spot in the 15th minute after Brian Gillen had been fouled in the box after rounding the goalkeeper.
‘Sally’ O’Connor had a goal chalked off for offside while man of the match Bryce Ndjatang went close in the final minute as Rush cruised to victory against a spirited Kevin’s side.
“The final came at a good time of the season for us when we’ve got all our players back,” chairman Adrian Kelly told the Dublin Gazette.
“We’ve a fully fit squad, where we’ve been struggling all year. To be chasing for the league and in a cup final was a great situation to be in”
Having achieved on the field, Rush are now calling on Fingal County Council to follow through with plans for an all-weather pitch to match their ambition off it.
“We’re probably the only club in north county Dublin that doesn’t have an all-weather facility.
“We’ve three senior teams and 23 schoolboy teams, and it’s a sad reflection on the area that we haven’t got an all-weather.
“The site is there but is not quite suitable – it’s just too far away from the playing pitches. Fingal are trying to look at something else but when they get it, Rush will get even stronger again.
“We lose a lot of schoolboy players to the likes of Home Farm, Kevin’s, and Shelbourne because there are stellar facilities and better coaching.
“If we get an all-weather pitch, we will be better kitted-out and a better venue for schoolboy players to stick with us.”