Cup joy for Rampart
Soccer, Clancy Cup Final: Rampart Celtic 4 Bellurgan Utd 3
On a night steeped in history Rampart had their name inscribed on the Clancy Cup for the first time, following in Woodview footsteps last season.
They hit the jackpot to get their hands on the first piece of silverware in their fourth final since joining the league 11 years ago as the large crowd attracted to Clancy Park on Saturday night were treated to a thriller.
An estimated 2,000 more viewers watched online as the league streamed live the final, and in another first Sarah Dyas became the first female referee to take charge of a Cup final after 112 years since the League was founded in 1905/06 season.
The game swung from end to end throughout. Bellurgan winners in 1991 and appearing in their third final in the competition struck first in the 16th minute. Luke Higgins pounced on a poor back pass to beat Boduarin in the Rampart goal.
Lee Wright equalised six minutes from the break when he was quickest to react when his stunning drive came back off the upright. Bellurgan replied within a minute when Joe Needham headed home to put the Peninsula side 2-1 up, a lead they took into the break.
Anthony Lines from the most acute angle beat the Bellurgan keeper to level the game once more on the hour.
The same player put his side ahead eight minutes later only then to have to retire shortly after with an injury.
Disaster struck for Bellurgan soon after when a mistake by keeper Seamus O'Hare was punished by Lee Wright to put Rampart 4-2 ahead.
Undaunted Bellurgan hit back and it took some sterling defending by the outstanding Aidan McGuiness at the heart of Rampart rearguard to deny them another goal until five minutes from time when Joe Dunne swept home the losers third goal to set up a grandstand finish.
Rampart Celtic: R.Boduarin, A.Fallon, P.Fee, D.Azure, A.McGuinness, S.McQuillan, E.Rodgers, D.Sharkey, A.Lines, L.Wright, E.Akinade, P.O'Hagan, P.Kloda, E.McGuinness, O.Amara, C.Mullen, T.Osobe, D.Murphy
Bellurgan: S.O'Hare, J.McArdle, C.Lawson, S.Finegan, J.Long, B.Dunne, L.Higgins, B.McDonnell, J.Needham, D.Sharkey, S.O'Brien, J.Dunne, P.Fisher, J.Smyth, P.Lynch, S.McElvinney, T.O'Connor, D.Traynor
Referee: Sarah Dyas
Bellurgan accounted for double holders Quay Celtic in the semi-finals, running out comfortable 3-1 winners, repeating their league victory which was by a much more handsome margin days earlier.
Conor Brennan headed past his keeper Luke Savage early to put Bellurgan ahead and they went on to open a three nil lead at the break with further goals by John Smith and Shane O'Brien in the closing five minutes of the half.
Quay Celtic came more into the game in the second half and they scorned several good chances before Robbie Mackin played in Ronan Cunningham to find the net with six minutes left for his seventh goal of the season.
Four down and won on pens
In the other semi-final Rampart erased a four goal deficit against Redeemer at the interval to advance to the decider.
They managed it 6-5 on penalties in the end as in another twist Redeemer recovered to equalise at five all after falling behind.
Redeemer Celtic got off to the perfect start when Kevin McCormack fired to the top right-hand corner after just two minutes. Shortly after Rampart lost Paul Gray with a leg injury which saw him being hospitalised.
Redeemer's dominance saw them go 2-0 up with Thomas Daly hitting his seventh goal of the season, after they had twice rattled the woodwork.
On the half hour, Mark Ed Colts made it 3-0.
Andy McDermott dispatched a 45th-minute penalty.
A minute into the second half Eedrif Akinade slotted home for Ciaran Pickering's charges to make it 4-1.
Within five more minutes David Murphy found the net again for Rampart.
Lee Wright reduced the lead to the minimum with a well-placed effort on the 59th minute. A rocket of a shot from Anthony Lines drew Rampart level in the 63rd min. and he followed it up with a headed goal three minutes later to put Rampart ahead.
But a stunning free-kick from Ryan McDonald put Redeemer back on terms with 20 minutes left to play.
The league now is on a two week break with no fixtures during that period.
League: Bellurgan Utd 1 Rampart Celtic 1; Bellurgan Utd 6 Quay Celtic 1.