Blackrock's James Kelly receives the Man of the Match award from UCFL secretary Paraic Treanor
Dunshaughlin claimed the Sidney Bedlow Cup

13/05/2018: Blackrock win Challenge Cup as Dunshaughlin win Bedlow – May 12

The Sidney Bedlow and Challenge Cups were both decided after two close, hard-fought matches at Home Farm’s pitch in Whitehall on Saturday. Both games ended in 1-0 wins, with Dunshaughlin Youths marking their first season in the UCFL with a win in the Bedlow final and Blackrock victorious later in the evening in the competition open to all team in the UCFL, the Challenge Cup.

The Sidney Bedlow Final appeared destined for extra-time until Dunshaughlin striker James Rattigan capitalised on a defensive error to slot home the winner in the last 10 minutes of the game. Rattigan also picked up the Man of the Match award as Dunshaughlin shaded a very tight contest.

The Challenge Cup Final kicked off at 7.00 p.m. and Blackrock quickly took the lead through Colm Daly with just 3 minutes gone. Astonishingly, that proved to be the decisive goal. Blackrock would have expected to have the better of the play against their Division 2 opponents and, while this was probably true, they created few further chances as Portmarnock competed strongly for the rest of the game. The closest Blackrock came to extending their lead was when James Kelly was thwarted at the far post 15 minutes from time.

Despite restricting Blackrock to few further chances, Portmarnock, who had forced Blackrock goalkeeper Dylan O’Reilly into a fine save low to his right from a free kick midway through the first half, rarely threatened themselves. However, by keeping the score to within one goal, Portmarnock always remained in the contest, and they very nearly equalised with 2 minutes remaining. Right back Aidan Cassin did brilliantly to get into the six-yard box but he was unable to take advantage when the ball dropped to him, firing narrowly over the bar from close range.

That proved to be the final chance and Blackrock held on to win their first trophy since joining the UCFL in 2015.