FOR THE first time in the club’s history, Bonagee United have reached the last 16 of the FAI Intermediate Cup – and are looking ahead to a first Senior Cup date in 2020.
Bonagee United 3 Lakewood Athletic 0
By Chris McNulty at Dry Arch Park
Bonagee soared to victory over Muster Senior League side Lakewood Athletic in a game that could have been more comfortable than the final score.
Bonagee took until the 46th minute to go in front but, a couple of first-half chances aside, it wasn’t a day when the home support were doubting the outcome too much.
Michéal Doherty put them on their way just before half-time before Ryan Rainey and Michael Funston added second-half strikes.
The lead goal arrived in added time at the end of the first half. Rainey’s deep cross was met by the head of Doherty and his attempt flew back across goal and into the net for a deserved advantage.
On the hour, Bonagee added a second when Rainey, who was threatening throughout, cut in from the left flank and riffled home from the edge of the D.
Deano Larkin might have put the game beyond Lakewood’s reach, but he steered over the top after latching onto Jordan Armstrong’s deft ball in and busy Lakewood ‘keeper Patrick Cronin saved well from Doherty’s drive 20 minutes from the end.
Armstrong had a big chance to make it three-nil when he was taken down in the penalty area, but Cronin beat away his tame penalty.
Former Finn Harps star Funston added a third on 86 minutes when he nodded home after being initially denied by Cronin.
Bonagee were without the unavailable Mark Harkin and Dan O’Donnell, but Sean Hume and Armstrong returned from suspension to reclaim their places in the starting XI.
Bonagee had a big chance after only 70 seconds. Michael Funston’s shot was saved by Cronin and Deano Larkin steered the follow-up into the side netting.
That came after a warning shot inside the opening minute at the other when when Arseni Lamanov headed wide from John Rice Madden’s cross.
Bonagee were beaten by Munster Senior League at this stage last year when Midleton – who visit Cockhill Celtic tomorrow – left Dry Arch with a 4-1 win.
Jason Gibson’s team had started the season with a real purpose and last week’s 1-0 loss in Cockhill represented a first defeat of the new term.
Cronin prevented the hosts from going in front when he beat away at close range from Funston after he had palmed down Michéal Doherty’s free kick.
Rainey rose well, but headed over soon after while Emmet Friel’s powerful low cross just needed a touch that wasn’t forthcoming.
Just after the half-hour mark, Lakewood showed some promise on the counter, but home goalkeeper Eugene Ferry was able to beat away Kenny Murphy’s powerful effort.
After Ferry saved from Con Breen, whose shot momentarily looked as if it might deceive the number 1, Bonagee struck gold right on the blow of Packie Coll’s half-time whistle.
Armstrong was thwarted by Cronin early in the second half while Cronin beat away a stinging effort by the lively Rainey as Bonagee pushed for a second.
The Dry Arch men were comfortable in the second half with Ferry a virtual spectator, although Murphy drilled wide late in the evening.
Bonagee United: Eugene Ferry, Jamie Lynagh (Chris Flanagan 64), Emmet Friel, Gareth Breslin, Duncan Patterson, Sean Hume, Michael Funston, Deano Larkin, Jordan Armstrong, Michéal Doherty, Ryan Rainey (Garbhan Grant 88).
Lakewood Athletic: Patrick Cronin, John Rice Madden (Scott Vaughan 74), Barry Lordan, Luke Hurley, John O’Brien (Colin Moore 56), Dan O’Callaghan, Mohammed Vangahun (Michael Lordan 79), John Higgins (Rob Aherne 61), Kenny Murphy, Con Breen (Evan Dodd 74), Arseni Lamanov.
Referee: Packie Coll.