LSL Saturday Major 1A
St Mochta’s 1
Tolka Rovers 1
ST MOCHTA’S held their nerve to get the point they needed to seal the LSL Saturday Major 1A title in a winner-takes-all battle with Tolka Rovers at Porterstown Road.
Gary Moore’s side won ten of their final 12 games to win the league at the expense of Tolka with both teams having lost just once all season.
A two-point lead heading into the final day meant nothing less than a win would do for Tolka, while avoiding the defeat would be enough for the Clonsilla side.
It’s Mochta’s third promotion in as many seasons since Moore took charge– and Tolka have been alongside them all the way – but the first time they’ve topped the table.
They had to do it the hard way as they endured seven minutes of injury time and put in a big defensive shift to see the game out.
Tolka’s Robbie McGuinness had put the Glasnevin-based side in front in the first half, before Dean Maguire levelled for Mochta’s with 20 minutes to go.
Mochta’s goalkeeper Adam Kmet had already saved smartly from Kiefer Trappe when McGuinness was played through on goal and slotted the ball under the keeper’s body.
The home side pressed in the second half for a leveller and eventually got their rewards when an inswinging free kick was turned into the net by Maguire.
“I don’t think they would have wanted to play us to go for the title on the last game of the season and we sure as hell didn’t want to play them,” Moore tells the Dublin Gazette.
“It could easily have been roles reversed – there was only the kick of a ball in it. We’re lucky enough to come out on the right side of it.
“Going into that game we only dropped seven points all season. The two sides were head and shoulders above everybody else in the league, but they kept us honest all the way.
“They won the first ten games, and then I think we won ten out of eleven on the way back in, so it was nip and tuck.
“We had three games where we scored a last-minute winner, 94th-minute winners. It’s down the lads – they have a never-say-die attitude.
“It was the same on Saturday, where they didn’t play well in the first half and came out and played much better second half.”
That team spirit has been vital, as has the help of senior manager Brian McCarthy, who has helped out with seconding players when needed over the season.
“We’ve a lot of young lads playing who have a great camaraderie together, and that is what gets us through.
“Two lads that weren’t involved on Saturday, who didn’t make the squad, they’re first running onto the pitch rather than sitting down sulking because they’re not playing.”