Letterkenny IT 2 V 1 Cork IT Captain B J Banda sent his team through to the last four of the Third Level Division One League semi-finals with a dramatic last minute extra-time winner over Cork IT just as an penalty shoot-out was looking a certainty. Lyit started well and took a deserved lead in the 15th minute when good play between Lee Mc Laughlin and Conor Gormley sent B J Banda racing through and he held off a defender before slotting the ball into the far bottom corner of the net. The visitors were almost back on level terms within two minutes, Lyit keeper saving well from Killian Fitzgerald after a corner had not been dealt with. And from the resulting corner it took a combination of Finn McClure and BJ Banda to block a goalbound shot . Charlie Collins reports. The Cork lads grew into the game and began looking dangerous going forward but it was the home team who again went closest to scoring , Banda denied by a good Darragh Newman save in the 31th minute and then when the keeper spilled another Banda effort , Gaby Aduaka was almost in before the keeper recovered just before the break. Aduaka was just wide in the 57th minute , while at the other end Craig Lynch’s piledriver flew just wide of Jamie Bell’s goal frame. Cork IT equalised on the hour, Nathan Manson did well to keep the ball in play and found the lively Arsend Lamonov at the back post , Bell made a super block save to deny him but Stephen O Leary followed up to hammer the rebound to the roof of the net. Five minutes later Aduaka and Sean McBride combined brilliantly on the edge of the box but the winger shot just wide. McBride was just too high with a piledriver after good work by Corey McBride in the 70th minute and then Kieran Farren’s header was just wide from Lorcan Towey’s cross. Both teams had late chances to grab the win in normal time , Nathan Manson’s shot was too high for the visitors and keeper Newman just got his fingertips to the ball as Sean McBride looked set to head home Towey’s excellent run and cross. Both teams had a couple of half chances during extra-time but as the penalty shoot-out beckoned Banda produced one of those moments in the final minute. Sean McBride played a good ball into the box but Banda still had plenty to do as his quick feet deceived both a defender and then goalkeeper Newman before he coolly slotted the ball to the net from five yards to send his team into the last four in dramatic fashion. Letterkenny IT : Jamie Bell, Lee McLaughlin, Finn McClure, Kieran Farren ( Daniel Wojack 95mins ), Keelan McGill , Conor Gormley , Cory McBride , Lorcan Towey, B J Banda , Sean McBride , Gaby Aduaka . Cork IT ; Darragh Newman , James O Driscoll ( Edward Healy (105mins), Callum Long ( Daniel Luxford ( 106mins ), Danny Reynolds, Killian Fitzgerald , Craig Lynch ( Trevor Harrington 85mins ), Arsend Lamonov , Killian Murphy , Nathan Manson , Stephen O Reilly , Evan O Sullivan ( Dylan Hayes 65mins ). Referee ; Liam McLaughlin.
Lyit advance to League semi-finals
written by Chris McNulty February 12, 2020
Author of 'Boxing In Donegal: A History (2021)' - the definitive history of the sport in County Donegal - and 'Relentless: A Race Through Time', the 2019 memoir of former Irish Athletics Team Manager Patsy McGonagle. From St Johnston and now based in Letterkenny, Chris was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.