Simply Finn-tastic! McGovern’s hat-trick helps Dingle Rovers to Portsmouth FA Intermediate Cup final success
Dingle Rovers made it the perfect finish to the campaign by completing a league and cup double.
The Locks Heath-based Meon Valley Sunday League Division 1 champions lifted the Portsmouth Divisional FA Intermediate Cup crown thanks to a 4-1 triumph over City of Portsmouth Sunday Leaguers Friends Fighting Cancer at Westleigh Park.
Finn McGovern's hat-trick, along with sub Ben Gurman's stunning late free-kick, made it look like a comfortable afternoon for Dingle.
But Rovers made hard work of it and heading into the final 10 minutes FFC were on track to take the final to the lottery of a penalty shootout before a late flurry of goals.
Dingle, roared on by a raucous support at Havant & Waterlooville's home ground, came racing out of the traps and could have had the final wrapped up by the break.
McGovern was on hand to flick home Brad Mackin's superb cross from the right with his head as Rovers took the lead inside four minutes.
Dingle striker Ryan Bath squandered a host of chances to double his side's advantage before FFC – who finished bottom of the Portsmouth Sunday League’s second tier in 2020/21 - began to gain a foothold towards the end of the half.
Rovers stopper Greg Layfield twice pulled off fine saves to deny long range attempts from Jordon Hughes.
But FFC did manage to get themselves level six minutes after the restart. Midfielder Jake Daniels, who had been involved in an altercation with Dingle's Jack Withey in the first half, superbly chipped over Layfield from around 40 yards after the ball fell to him.
It was a massive blow for Rovers who had been in the ascendancy for most of the match, and it appeared as though the final would go to a shootout.
However, McGovern had other ideas with his attempted cross six minutes from time looping over Welsh and into the far corner.
That goal took the wind out of FFC’s sails and Dingle would go onto to net twice in stoppage-time to win convincingly.
Gurman found the net on 92 minutes with a stunning 25-yard free-kick which nestled in the corner.
There was even time for McGovern to complete a well-deserved treble as Rovers were crowned PDFA Intermediate Cup champions.
Dingle Rovers: Layfield; Tuckey, Pointon, Bruce, Withey, Steele, Mackin, Pinkus, Mayne, Bath, McGovern. Subs: Gurman, Whitaker, Sinclair, Whitaker.
FFC: Welsh; Byrne, Ogilvie, Clark, Lovick, Byrne, Daniels, Goodall, Widger, Hughes, Wilson. Subs: Hart, Anders, Thorne.