Wednesday 13 December 2017

Second cup exit in a week for Bellurgan

BELLURGAN's final chance of glory this season ended as they made their exit from the FAI Junior Cup on Saturday at the end of a bad week.

They had bowed out of the Tully Bookmakers Cup the previous Sunday, suffering a shock defeat to Kingscourt, and then lost top striker John Smith who moved to champions Woodview.

There was a promise that things would get better when Shane Finnegan put them ahead after being put through by Ciaran Rogan on 20 minutes, but they conceded two goals in the final 10 minutes of the half to go into the interval trailing.

Manager Paddy Gill wrung the changes, bringing on Alexis Zamboglou and new signing Dean Sheils five minutes into the second half in place of Jason Brennan and Owen Traynor as they pressed to draw level. But instead St Pat's caught them on the break to extend their lead on the hour.

This prompted a change in information by Bellurgan as they replaced a defender with Johnny Winters to play three at the back and Diarmuid Murphy switched into midfield. This yielded a dividend, with Sheils and Murphy involved as Finnegan grabbed his second goal of the match to reduce the leeway to the minimum, but Bellurgan couldn't force an equaliser.

Stephen Malone deputised in goal in the absence of regular netminder Robert Arthur and pulled off two topclass saves in an accomplished display, although not able to spare his side from defeat.

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