With extra time looming in the fading light, Luke McCarry popped up with a dramatic winner to win the John Corey Curran Youth Cup for Dunfanaghy Town.
Dunfanaghy Town 1 Swilly Rovers 0
The game was in its final minute when McCarry deliciously flicked home from the edge of the penalty area.
McCarry took one look and his finish, looping over Swilly goalkeeper Jamie Blaney, dropped at just the right moment to nestle in the net. McCarry’s execution was perfect and enough to seal the silverware for Danny Ferry’s side, in their first Youth League campaign.
Swilly had turned the screw for much of the second half without having much joy and McCarry’s winner came with many in the attendance at Dry Arch Park ready to settle into their posts for another half-an-hour.
Early in the game, McCarry raced through and his first attempt was spilled by Blaney, who gathered well at the second attempt.
Dunfanaghy ‘keeper Oisin Cannon did well to save down to his left-hand side to beat away a free-kick by Kyle McMullan in the first period.
Dunfanaghy – who beat League champions Fanad United in the semi-final – had a big chance in the dying moments of the opening half, but Calvin Murray fired wide of the far post after scampering in.
Blaney saved from Edward O’Reilly in the early passage of the second half, but it was Swilly who began to get on top.
Finn O’Donnell beat Cannon in a race for possession, but prodded wide and Matthew McLaughlin’s half-volley was saved by the Dunfanaghy net-minder.
Ten minutes from the end, O’Donnell got in behind the Dunfanaghy rearguard, but dragged his shot narrowly wide of the target.
Many of this young Swilly side will line out tomorrow against Bonagee United in the Under-16 League and several have already lined out for the Lennonsiders in the Ulster Senior League.
Swilly had big calls for a penalty when Frankie Campbell went down in the area on 88 minutes, but referee Marty McGarrigle showed a yellow card to the Swilly front man for simulation, much to the chagrin of the Swilly support.
After McCarry hooked in to break the deadlock, Swilly’s McMullan – a native of Dunfanaghy – fired a free-kick that was dealt with by Cannon and soon the Dunfanaghy contingent were toasting a famous win.
Dunfanaghy Town: Oisin Cannon, Eanna McCafferty, Dara Breen, Patrick McGinley, Patrick Moffett, Carlos O’Reilly, Calvin Murray, Kyle McGarvey, Luke McCarry, Edward O’Reilly, Krystian Fint. Subs: Roan Dewar for Breen (49), Callum Friel for McCafferty (56), Conor McCullough for Murray (65), Dan Ferry for McCarry (92).
Swilly Rovers: Jamie Blaney, Eoin Logue, Jack McAuley, Tony Gallagher, Kyle McMullan, Conor O’Donnell, Jordan Nugent, Matthew McLaughlin, Finnian O’Donnell, Frankie Campbell, Dylan Dorrian. Subs: Warren Patterson for Nugent (53), Raymond Boyce for Dorrian (80).
Referee: Vincent McLoughlin.