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On a blazing hot summer’s day, four sides competed in a blitz format, with each side playing three short games before two progressed to a final match.
Stalwarts St Vincent’s struggled out of the blocks, losing their first two games against Feds (4:1) and Cork (2:0), before overcoming Waterford (4:0) in their final match. They were led out by captain Dean Huggard, a veteran of over 200 league and cup appearances for the side. Their debutants this year played admirably – Peter Conlan in goal, Ciaran Murray at centre half and full backs Shariz Karin and Radzi Akib.
Defending champions Cork, led by captain and Hospitals Cup stalwart Denis Curtin, lost out narrowly (1:0) to Waterford in their opener, but overcame Vincent’s to set up a decisive tie with the Feds for a place in the final. John Browne, Denis O’Donovan and Eanna Clifford excelled for the reigning champs.
The Feds shot out to a commanding 3-0 half-time lead against Cork, ultimately emerging 5-1 victors.
Peter Kelly led a young Feds team with students Niall Carruthers and Robbie Gaul scoring several fantastic goals. Intern Brian Moran and old hand Paddy O’Connor marshalled the stingy defence.
The final was a cagey affair befitting a high stakes cup final, with chances few and far between. Fionn O’Tighearnaigh, Ben Melvin and Mike Maguire put in tremendous showings for Waterford, who were led by Coilin Collins-Smyth.
The match looked certain to head for penalties before a moment of brilliance at the death from Feds star player Niall Carruthers separated the sides – beating two defenders at the edge of the box before rifling a winner into the top corner.
Any players, or indeed hospitals, interested in participating in next year’s tournament, please contact the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org.