Wednesday 16 October 2019

Cup shocks around the county

Cup shocks continue with prime positions at stake in the semi finals of both competitions.

The first major shock of the weekend came in the Glasshouse Hotel encounter at Brother Walfrid Park when bottom of the table Ballymote Celtic were at home to seasiders Strand Celtic who are flying high in second spot on the leader board.

Football folk will always tell you league form means nothing in Cup competition and how true this was on Sunday.

League stats indicated an away win but Ballymote Celtic forgot to read the script setting out their stall early and they defended everything that Strand could throw at them, it was scoreless at half time.

Then on seventy minutes Jack Hever scored a blistering goal for Ballymote Celtic and it was game on.

Ten minutes to go and Ballymote Celtic were awarded a penalty up stepped Shane Regan and as cool as you like he fired home to give Ballymote Celtic a two-goal lead.

Celebrations were however short lived when two minutes later Irish International Conor Griffin got on the end of a corner kick to bring Strand Celtic right back into the game.

However it was not to be with the back line of Ballymote Celtic standing tall they weathered the storm to claim a semi final spot away to Manor Rangers what a game we have in store.

Manor Rangers what a show they put on winning by the odd goal in seven away to a very good Merville United at Maugheraboy.

The home side took the lead through Malachy Spratt and Manor Rangers levelled before half time courtesy of a fine goal from Luke Tansey.

Merville again went ahead immediately after the break the brilliant Malachy Spratt netting his second goal.

Manor Rangers again responded five minutes later when Brian McDonald fired home the equaliser.

Two minutes later and the Leitrim Boys went ahead for the first time with sharp shooter Paul Logan giving them the lead.

Merville United still continued to attack and on sixty-five minutes they were level with Jordan Harte the hitman.

Six goals scored and still thirty minutes remaining what a game and what a finish was on.

With seventy five minutes played up stepped Alan Hickey to hit what was to turn out a glorious winner for the Leitrim Kingpins Merville hit the woodwork on the stroke of fulltime but the day and the semi final spot was well deserved for the Manorhamilton boys.

Strongest team in the league Carbury were away to a young Ballisodare United but the visitors proved too strong in every department hitting five goals. Niall Brennan scoring twice and a goal apiece for Gareth Kelly Steve Feeney and Gary Armstrong ensured a comfortable journey into the semi-final.

Adam Grace netted the only goal for the Ballisodare boys.

Aughanagh Celtic were at home in Ballinafad to Glenview Stars in this quarter final encounter the prize for the winners a home draw in the semi-finals to Carbury.

Aughanagh Celtic turned back the clock to put on a blistering display hitting five goals without reply while their defence was in top form keeping a clean sheet.

Hero of the day was hat trick king Conor McPadden aided and abetted by the stealth of Paul McTiernan and Seamus Kane who each scored once.

Aughanagh will be underdogs in their semi final at home to Carbury but they have a big bite and on the day fortune will favour the brave.

The quarter finals of the Cleary Landscapes and Pitch Maintenance brought up some amazing results.

The first massive clash was Coolaney United lying fifth in the league at home to second spot Arrow Harps.

This again had all the hallmarks of a classic with Arrow Harps on league form the favourites.

But here again Coolaney went for the jugular hitting six goals without reply to a shocked Arrow Harps. Hat Trick master Michael Mulvey was in brilliant form, Cathal Davey scoring twice and Mattie Racki putting the cherry on the top that sees Coolaney United at home to North Sligo rivals Cliffoney Celtic and what a game this prove to be with both sides hungry for silverware. Opponents Cliffoney Celtic were away to St Johns and here again the visitors hit St Johns for six without reply.

Make no mistake this was men against boys. Bartley Clancy and Brian O'Connor gave Cliffoney a two-goal lead at the break.

The second saw Jason Brennan firing on all cylinders and hitting two goals with Alan Gregg and the man himself Alan Harrison completing the demolition of St Johns.

Another high scoring encounter was Real Tubber at home to Grange side Benbulben FC.

Real Tubber took the lead on sixteen minutes through Fabio Cretaro.

Ronan Forkin then added two more goals and just before half time Jason Dwyer added the fourth.

The second half was all one-way traffic with Ronan Forkin and Eoin Walsh each adding two more goals that earns Real Tubber a home semi final clash against Cartron Utd.

Their opponents Cartron United had to overcome a strong Chaffpool United side to earn their semi final spot.

Ryan Gethins scoring on fourteen minutes giving them the lead but they only secured things twenty-five minutes from time when Enda McGowan fired home the goal that sealed victory.

They now travel to Real Tubber for a mouth-watering semi-final David v Goliath clash and we all know how that went.

Both Cup competitions have once proved riveting games and results credit to all clubs for making these games so competitive and exciting roll on the semi-finals.

Sligo Champion