IT WAS A weekend of away joy in the Ulster Junior Shield as Strand Rovers, Glencar Celtic and Quigley’s Point Swifts won on their travels.
Curragh Athletic 2 Strand Rovers 2 (AET, Strand won 4-3 on pens)
This was an Ulster Junior Shield quarter-final played in the Curragh where Curragh Athletic welcomed Strand Rovers to the Sports Complex.
The game started with the away side pushing hard and on ten minutes they got their reward. Both teams played well up to half-time but there were no more goals scored.
The second-half saw the home side come out all fired up and on sixty minutes they got a corner which James Sweeney took and Callum Gordon got on the end of to make it 1-1. The away side got another on seventy-five minutes to go back in front. The home never gave up and on 90 minutes Tim Callaghan got their second to force extra time.
Both sides battled well but it went to penalties. Strand won 4-3 with Curragh gracious in defeat. A great match played in a sporting manner by both sides.
Aileach Reserves 0 Glencar Celtic 1
Both teams served a quality game in windy conditions.
The opening period was fiercely contested with no side giving an inch.
On the half hour, Aileach almost took the lead when Shane McMonagle rode two challenges before firing a shot to the bottom corner but Blake Forkan in the Glencar goal got a fingertip to the shot diverting it just past the post.
The very experienced Glencar team where always dangerous and thought the took the lead just before half time when Rory Gallagher’s cross fell to Graham Cullen and his shot was deflected into the net via Paddy Collins who was in an offside position.
Aileach started the second half brightly and Stephen Doherty had a shot which just cleared the bar. The game was a battle throughout and not until the latter stages did the game open up.
With ten minutes to go a Pajo Rafferty cross was just out of reach for Collins at the back post.
Glencar took the lead with four minutes to go when Collins controlled a diagonal ball cut inside and fired a shot towards the far corner, McGeady made a great save but the ball rebounded straight into the path of Rafferty to slot into the unguarded net.
Aileach threw caution to the wind from then on and almost got an equaliser when McMonagles cross found Sean McHugh at the back post who fired a shot past the keeper but an alert defender slid across the line and cleared to save a certain goal.
Aileach pressed in injury time but the Glencar defence stood firm.
Drumbar F.C. 1 Quigleys Point Swifts 2 (AET)
The home side made the better start to this game with Vinnie Breslin breaking through the Point defence but Aiden Lynch advanced smartly to smother at his feet.
Lynch the produced a fine save at full stretch to tip a Daniel Benett effort from 20 yards around the post. The Point settled and Caoaln McColgan was denied by a superb last ditch James McMullan tackle as he bore down on goal.
The visitors opened the scoring on 27 minutes after a Shay Lynch cross was not gathered by Oisin Bryson allowing John McCloskey to slot home from close range.
The home side got back on terms on the half hour after Bennett drove home a penalty awarded after Breslin was deemed to have been impeded in the area.
The Point, with the advantage of the wind in the second half, really upped the tempo and Lynch fired over before McColgan was denied by a good save from Bryson.
McCloskey was then unlucky with an effort from the edge of the area which crashed off the crossbar before Lee Barr’s free went narrowly wide. Bryson again came to the home side’s rescue on 85 minutes when he saved well from Lynch before in the final chance of normal time Ryan McGarvey drove wide from the edge of the area.
The only real chance of extra time saw the point strike for the winner when McCloskey went up the left and cut in to drill a low shot across Bryson to the bottom corner from 12 yards to seal their passage to the semi finals.