Nigel McMonagle’s goal late in the first half was the telling blow as Greencastle United won the Ulster Junior Cup for the first time.
Greencastle FC 1 Glengad United 0
By Chris McNulty at Maginn Park
McMonagle netted the only goal of the game on 44 minutes and it was enough to seal the deal for the Greeks.
With a minute to play in the first half, Greencastle took the advantage. Matthew Byrne’s attempted header back to Kevin McLaughlin didn’t have the desired effect. McMonagle nipped in and gleefully steered to the net.
With 14 League wins in a row, Greencastle are on the cusp of clinching the Jackie Crossan Premier Division – the crown worn by Glengad in each of the last four seasons.
A couple of weeks ago, a 3-0 win over Carn saw Greencastle win their first ever senior men’s trophy in the form of the Clubman Shirts League Cup final.
Here, they were winners in a game of few chances, with McMonagle’s goal all that stood between the teams at the finish in front of a big crowd at Maginn Park.
McMonagle and Adam Byrne exchanged early efforts before Shaun Doherty’s long-range drive stung Kevin McLaughlin into action.
McMonagle beat the offside trap only to lose his footing at the vital moment. When Doherty fed McMonagle, the lively attacker’s lofted attempt was over the head of the advancing McLaughlin, but his connection wasn’t enough to hit the target.
Matthew Byrne saw a free kick well turned away by Dylan Doherty and Glengad turned the screw with Stephen Fildara’s pacy run down the right ending with a delicious ball across the box that caused momentary panic.
McMonagle was denied the opener by a superb save by McLaughlin, who arched back to tip over the crossbar after the Greencastle man took aim from the left corner of the penalty area.
However, with half-time looming McMonagle had the decisive say with the breakthrough.
Glengad began to come into it again in the second half and it took a good block by Mark Henry to prevent Connor Barrow’s arrowed half-volley from testing Doherty as he conncted to Terence Doherty’s cross.
The Crua men went close again when Adam Byrne combined with Stephen Fildara on the right-hand side and Byrne’s effort swerved narrowly over the top.
Try as they might, Glengad couldn’t significantly work Doherty in the Greencastle goal and the Chapel Lane men took the prize.
Glengad United: Kevin McLaughlin, James McKinney, Seamus Doherty, John Gerard McLaughlin, Matthew Byrne, Adam Byrne, Stephen McLaughlin, Dillon Ruddy, Terence Doherty, Connor Barrow, Cathal McDaid (Jason Doherty 82).
Greencastle FC: Dylan Doherty, Stephen Grant, Gavin Harkin (Matthew Harkin 72), Mark Henry, Michael Barr, Eamon Donnelly (Ciaran Moore 85), Jamie McCormick, Shaun Doherty, Nigel McMonagle, James Henry, Michael Henry (DJ Canavan 90). Subs: Christy Hegarty for McCormick (64)
Referee: Terence Moyne.