Greencastle Reserves completed a superb season for the Chapel Lane club with an extra time win over Clonmany in the Division 2A play-off at Maginn Park on Sunday morning.
Clonmany Res 2 Greencastle Res 4 (after extra time)
Clonmany were much the better team in the opening half and in the first minute Conor Doherty raced onto a through ball but Geencastle player-manager Shaun Cavanagh got across to clear at the expense of a corner.
Greencastle replied with Andrew Peoples turning well on the edge of the area and firing in a shot which just cleared the bar. Clonmany then took the lead on 9 minutes after an in-swinging Michael Devlin corner found Andrew Doherty to head home from eight yards.
Conor Doherty then headed wide after another corner before Clonmany were awarded a free on the edge of the area after Pauric Carey Doherty had handled a back pass but Paul McLaughlin’s effort crashed off the wall.
Clonmany continued to press with Paul Devlin seeing an effort parried at full stretch before Michael Devlin beat his man inside the area and tried to curl the ball past the keeper but David Walker was on hand to clear.
Greencastle had a good spell before the break and on 38 minutes Walker fed Ronan Doherty on the left but his low cross was superbly cut out and held by Liam McGonigle in the Clonmany goal. Greencastle upped the tempo and were much the better team in the second half.
Jude Harkin had an early shot crash off the post to Pauric Gillen but his follow up was saved by McGonigle.
Then Peoples had a 20-yards effort straight at McGonigle who held well.A brilliant run in the 55th minute from Doherty on the left saw him thread a pass into Harkin inside the area but Matthew Brennan made a brilliant interception.
However from the corner by Joe Doherty Peoples rose high to head home from eight yards and equalise. Good work again by Doherty on the left saw him lay off to Gillen whose deflected effort was well saved by McGonigle.
Greencastle took the lead on 70minutes after a Kevin Mclaughlin free found the unmarked Peoples to superbly head past McGonigle from eight yards.
Clonmany raised a late spurt with Paul Mclaughlin firing over from 25 yards. They got back on terms in injury time after McLaughlin released Conor Doherty on the right and his cross found Michael Devlin who controlled turned and fired low into the bottom corner.
The same player then had a gilt edged chance to win the game but fired wide from eight yards. Greencastle spurned a chance to regain the lead midway through the first half of extra time when Ronan Doherty was upended but substitute Daniel Rowan fired the spot kick off the outside of the post and wide.
A great burst forward by David Walker thru the middle saw him tackled and the ball ran across to Peoples who fired a superb effort to the roof of the net from 20 yards.
Four minutes into the second half a brilliant run from Ronan Doherty from half way left a number of defenders training in his wake and he finished superbly to all but seal the league title and promotion.
Clonmany kept pressing and Dessie Doherty had a header saved by Carey-Doherty in the final action of the game.