FOOTBALL: Benny O’Meara Cup victory seals memorable season for Ropsley FC
Ropsley ensured it would be a season to remember with a 5-0 victory in the Benny O’Meara Cup final at Dickens Road on Sunday afternoon.
A strong turnout of spectators saw a fairly even first 45 minutes, with Caythorpe twice testing Ropsley goalkeeper Neil Graham.
At the other end, Ropsley’s Glenn O’Meara was denied a goal in a final being played in memory of his late father. Glenn’s long-distance effort was kept out by an outstanding save from Caythorpe’s Michael Blackman.
But the Caythorpe number one could do nothing to prevent Ropsley taking a 1-0 lead into the break when South African winger Keegan Bernstein pounced on a defensive lapse to thump a shot home midway through the half.
Bernstein went off injured shortly after his goal and Ropsley manager Chris Colgan replaced the goalscorer with long-time club stalwart Tom Parrish who went on to enjoy an excellent game.
Following an even first half, Ropsley upped their game in the second period, playing some of the excellent football that helped secure this season’s Premier Division title.
Richard Payne doubled Ropsley’s lead after his weaving run set himself up for a rocket finish.
Ropsley quickly moved three in front with a wonderfully worked free kick. Man-of-the-match Ben Lund lined up as if to strike and instead played an intelligent through-pass beyond the wall.
George Petrou crossed towards the far post for the wide open Tom Parrish but the substitute’s intervention was not required as the ball dipped under the bar and over the line.
George Petrou was involved in setting up the fourth goal for his brother. He crossed from the right where striker Liam Warner pulled the ball down before back-heeling the ball into the path of Leori Petrou, who scored with a composed finish.
Ropsley centre-half Tom Hill grabbed the final goal, taking advantage of a mix-up between defender and goalkeeper before smashing the ball into the empty net from a yard out.
The result meant Ropsley captain Glenn O’ Meara was able to raise the cup renamed for the season in his father’s memory to ensure a fitting end to an unforgettable season.