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Release Date: 12/05/2012

CRUSADERS are the 2011/12 Setanta Sports Cup champions following the most dramatic of final victories over Derry City at The Oval.

The Crues got off to an excellent start when, as early as the fifth minute, Timmy Adamson found himself through on goal only to be denied by City 'keeper Gerard Doherty.

And five minutes later Chris Morrow, recently crowned Player of the Year by the NIFWA, came even closer after Doherty managed to tip his free-kick onto the woodwork.

Derry hit back a couple of minutes later when Patrick McEleney delivered a corner which David McDaid almost touched past Sean O'Neill.

This heralded a period of dominance for the League of Ireland side which produced chances for Ruaidhri Higgins and Stephen McLaughlin.

However, neither side managed to register on the scoresheet as the first half ended without a goal.

That almost changed within two minutes of the restart when, from a McEleney free-kick, Rory Patterson headed onto the top of the crossbar.

The Crues broke away to the other end almost immediately with Morrow seeing an effort tipped away by Doherty with Declan Caddell's attempted rebound falling wide.

Then, on the hour, Morrow had a free header from a corner only to strike the crossbar again and, once more, Caddell was unable to convert the follow up.

The frantic pace kept up moments later when Patterson flicked the ball on for McDaid to cross for McLaughlin only for the resultant effort to drift just wide.

Play quickly reverted back to the City penalty area as David Rainey - who proved to be a constant threat throughout - beat the offside trap only to fire the ball straight at Doherty from an acute angle.

With quarter-of-an-hour remaining Rainey was thwarted again with a superb drive from some 25 yards which Doherty tipped over while, from the subsequent corner, Paul Leeman hooked the ball over from inside the area.

But with ten minutes remaining the hearts of the Crues fans were broken when former Coleraine and Linfield man Patterson fired home from a narrow angle after substitute Owen Morrison laid the ball off inside the box.

Crusaders responded five minutes later, however, with the goal all their earlier endeavour deserved when skipper Colin Coates rose highest to nod the ball into an unguarded net.

There was still time for more drama when, three minutes into stoppage time, the Crues lost Stephen McBride for a second bookable offence following a challenge on Simon Madden.

And so into extra-time ..... on 95 minutes Crusaders seized the advantage with Coates' second of the game when he pounced after Doherty failed to gather a ball into the box.

Back came Derry and that man Patterson seven minutes later. Referee Raymond Crangle awarded a penalty when Leeman was adjudged to have handled a Patterson shot with the former Northern Ireland international stepping up to convert.

Remarkably, Coates very nearly restored the lead for Stephen Baxter's side within a minute with another header which Doherty had to be at his acrobatic best to turn away.

Perhaps not surprisingly given the efforts of both sets of players earlier in the game the remaining period of extra-time failed to produce any further goals.

Somewhat cruelly that meant only one thing - penalties. With both sides scoring four out of their regulation five kicks it went down to sudden death.

Dermot McCaffrey stepped up for Derry but was denied by a Sean O'Neill stop, leaving the way clear for Gareth McKeown to convert his kick and bring the all-Ireland crown to Seaview.

Well done Crusaders!

Crusaders: O'Neill, McBride, Leeman, Magowan, Coates, Morrow, Adamson, Rainey, Caddell, Dallas, Watson subs McKeown (replaced Adamson 91), McCann (not used), Gargan (replaced Caddell 112), Halliday (not used), McMaster (not used), Gibson (not used), Snoddy (replaced Rainey 96)

Derry City: Doherty, McCaffrey, Molloy, S. McEleney, Higgins, McDaid, P. McEleney, Patterson, McBride, McLaughlin, Madden subs McCallion (replaced McBride 106), Crossan (not used), Morrison (replaced McLaughlin 63), McGrory (not used), Barr (not used), Curran (not used), Ferry (not used)


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  • Setanta Sports Cup final 2012

    Sean O'Neill and Declan Caddell spray Colin Coates with champagne

    Picture: William Cherry/

  • Setanta Sports Cup final 2012

    Gareth McKeown begins the celebrations following his winning spot-kick ....

    Picture: William Cherry/

  • Setanta Sports Cup final 2012

    .... and the rest of the squad rush to join him ....

    Picture: Darren Kidd/

  • Setanta Sports Cup final 2012

    ..... and afterwards on the Shore Road!

    Picture: Stephen Hamilton/

  • Setanta Cup final 2012

    Man of the match Colin Coates turns away in delight after scoring in the final

    Picture: Darren Kidd/

  • Setanta Sports Cup final 2012

    David Rainey tussles for possession with Ryan McBride

    Picture: Stephen Hamilton/

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