Glenmuir edge out Bellurgan in thriller
Dundalk & District League
Glenmuir booked their place in the McConville Cup final this Saturday (October 5, kick-off 7.30) in Oriel Park, joining champions Redeemer in what will be novel pairing with both making their first appearance in the decider ensuring a new name will appear on the trophy.
The Glens caused a surprise by edging out Bellurgan United in a seven goal thriller at Clancy Park. The Peninsula side are three time winners of the competition and have shown the better form this season, occupying presently second place in the table.
They took the lead with Steven Finnegan's expertly driven free from outside the box eluding the wall and Glens keeper Jordon Mackin in the 24th minute.
Both sides were intent on attack and it made for a fast flowing game. A long ball down the centre and deep into the Bellurgan half saw Peter McStravick challenging for possession with Steven Finnegan and the Glenmuir man managed to poke the ball past the advancing Kevin Rogan in the Bellurgan goal to equalise before the break.
Bellurgan came out the stronger in the second half, forcing the Glens to give away a succession of free kicks, and Dan O'Connor made them pay dearly on the hour mark scoring from 25 yard for his side to regain the lead.
Five minutes later Tadgh O'Connor made it a 3-1 lead. It was looking like Bellurgan were on their way to a final meeting with Redeemer Celtic until Paddy Nicholson moved in from the wing into the centre and in a crowded penalty area he stabbed home a loose ball that came back off the keeper.
Within a minute Peter McStravick had the sides level at three apiece with 25 minutes to play.
As the game swung from end to end it took a save of the season from Mackin, tipping away a Steven Finnegan free from entering the top right hand corner.
The Blues had another let-off when Bellurgan's Shane O'Brian was fouled on the end line of the penalty area, but referee Simon Halpenny waved play on.
As the game entered the final minutes the Bellurgan 'keeper spilled a shot from distance and before he could react Peter McStravick pounced to tap home what was to prove to be the winning goal.
Glenmuir: J.Mackin, K.McKeown, R.Phelan, C.Richardson, D McCrave, C.McCabe, L.McStavrick, J.Brown, P.McStravick, B.Kapanga, P.Nicholson. Subs, J.Cunningham, Victor, A. Richardson, C.Sheridan, S.Kettle, K.Morris, R.Sands, S.Ryan, Manager: John McArdle.
Bellurgan: K.Rogan, J.McArdle, C. Lawson, S.Finnegan, J.Smith, A.McGuinness, L.Higgins, D.McDonnell, T.O'Conor, D.O'Connor, S.O'Brian, subs, O.Traynor, S.McAvinney, P.Fisher, D. Traynor, T.Dullaghan, J.Needham, C.Long. Manager: Martin Finnegan.