It took a late disputed goal by the lively Shaun “Yank ” Boyle to separate these teams in what was a keenly contested semi-final at Donegal League Headquarters in Ballyare.
Ballybofey United 1 Keadue Rovers 2
The opening half-hour was evenly contested with a good chance at either end. Keadue had the first one when Shaun Boyle raced onto a through ball and just got his shot away ahead of the advancing Chris Patton but the back-tracking Alan Patton just made up the ground to scramble the ball off the line with inches to spare in the sixth minute.
Ballybofey Utd list the influential Brian Lafferty Jnr with an injury early on but had a chancy to grab the lead in the 14th minute when Mark Griffen found space in the box but he failed to get the power in the shot that might have troubled Danny Rodgers.
Neither team was able to dominate the ball for long periods as play swung from end to end with Division One United just about shading the possession.
Just before the break, Rodgers was forced into a good save from Conor Doherty but it remained scoreless at the break.
Charlie Collins Reports from Diamond Park, Ballyare.
Ten minutes into the second-half Keadue grabbed the lead. Adam Neilly’s delivery from a corner on the right-hand side was excellent and Chris Greene timed his run perfectly to power home a header from six yards.
Six minutes later it could have and perhaps should have been 2-0, first Chris Patton did well to block Shaun Boyle’s cracking shot but when the ball was returned into the box Cory Gallagher, normally so deadly in front of goal somehow managed to head wide from the six-yard line with a free header, would that be costly we wondered.
Gallagher went close again in the 72nd minute, racing onto a through ball and skimming the top of the crossbar with a left foot drive. Ballybofey Utd were still in the game but Keeper Patton again had to deny Gallagher in the 76th minute although the angle was tight.
A minute later the sides were level, Jude Patton drilling the ball to the corner of Danny Rodgers net when a cross from the left reached him just inside the box, 1-1 in the 77th minute.
Five minutes from the end another twist, a Ballybofey attack broke down and Keadue substitute Daniel Ward played a superb through ball for Shaun Boyle to race onto.
The ‘Yank ‘ got there just ahead of the advancing Chris Patton and shot for goal. The ball just held it’s line inside the far post but did hit the inside of it before coming back across the line and over it according to linesman Mick Lagan, who had the best view from his position.
Ballybofey Utd players contested the decision but the goal stood and despite a lot of pressure in the remaining minutes Keadue held on to reach the Brian McCormick Cup Final.
BALLYBOFEY UNITED: Chris Patton, Michael Lafferty, Niall Mc Cluskey Alan Patton, Ronan McMenamin, Shaun McGowan, Jude Patton, Ryan Duffy, Damian Glackin, Brian Lafferty ( Conor Doherty 10 mins ), Mark Griffen.
KEADUE ROVERS: Danny Rodgers, Luke Neilly, Jack Boyle, High Moy, Chris Greene, Adam Neilly, Danny McGlynn (Aran Mc Cafferty 90mins ), David Ward ( Daniel Ward 63mins ), Shaun Boyle, Cory Gallagher, Callum Boyle.
Referee: Joe Mc Hugh.