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ballycane give croft hard time

Suncroft AFC 2

Ballycane Celtic ...2

Suncroft AFC maintain pole position and continue to remain unbeaten in the Wallace Trophies Division 4 but were made fight all the way to the final whistle by a resolute second-from-bottom Ballycane Celtic side.

The home side and league leaders were quick out of the blocks when Robbie Burke was unlucky to see his 18-yard strike well saved by the Ballycane netminder Nathan Grant.

Five minutes later Ross Slattery combined well with Burke only to see his effort go just wide of Grant's left post.

Suncroft continued their dominance and Ballycane 'keeper Grant had to be at his best to keep out a Chris Stynes free-kick on 15 minutes.

Their best chance came in the 22nd minute when a well-taken Danny Whelan corner found Mick Daly in space, however his powerful effort was expertly saved by the inform Grant.

Ballycane, spurred on by their defensive performance, began to push forward and create chances through Jay McCormack and Jason Hughes.

However the home side broke and went ahead 10 minutes from the break when Brian Duggan went on a mazy run down the left and fed the ball to Tommy Roebottom who beat Declan Murray and shot low to finally beat the impressive Grant at the near post.

The visitors were not to be outdone and equalised on the stroke of half-time when Tommy Feane rose highest to power home from close range following a defence splitting cross from Dane Higgins and both sides went in square.

Ballycane, encouraged by their first-half performance, came out strong in the second half and created further chances through Tommy Feane and Jay McCormack before going 2-1 up midway through the half when the hard-working Feane found substitute Craig Murray in space and he made no mistake from close range with a powerful volley.

It looked as if a shock was on the cards however, with time running out, Suncroft's Mick Daly was brought down just outside the box and Danny Whelan stepped up to fire home the equaliser.

Suncroft AFC: Terry Smith, Danny Whelan, Biran Duggan, Bernard Eustace, Chris Stynes, Ross Slattery, Frankie Kelly, Tommy Roebottom, Mick Daly, Robbie Burke, Eric Howe, Bernard Murphy, Kevin Christie, Stephen Twomey, Brian Vardy.

Ballycane Celtic: Nathan Grant, Declan Murray, Daragh Thompson, Adrian Burke, Nicky lawlor, Dermot Murray, Tommy Feane, Kevin McConnell, Jay McCormack, Jason Hughes, Dane Higgins, Craig Murray, Alan O Neill, John Butler, Colm Keenan, David Nolan.

Referee: Martin Byrne.