LAGAN HARPS scored an early season win over derby rivals Drumoghill to reach the Letterkenny Area Shield final of the Brian McCormick Cup.
Drumoghill FC 2 Lagan Harps 2
After extra time. Lagan win 6-5 on penalties
Keith Hegarty’s team prevailed in a penalty shoot-out after a cracking two-all draw at The Moss. The newly-promoted Lagan are back in the top flight and lowered the colours of the reigning Premier Division champions here.
All the goals arrived in the second half of normal time.
After Mark Hunter fired Lagan ahead, Chris Malseed’s double had Drumoghill ahead but, a minute after Malseed’s second on 82 minutes, Darren Doran drew Lagan level.
Extra time failed to throw up a winner and, after 16 penalties, it was Lagan who edged it, 6-5, with Conor Matthewson scoring and Liam Sweeney’s spurning his effort.
In the kick before, both Gerard McGranaghan and Daniel Clarke had missed with Pajo Rafferty and Chris Toner missing in the regular part of the shoot-out.
Malseed, Chris O’Donnell Jay Dee Alawiye, Richard Moore and Mark Gibson netted for Drumoghill with Doran, Glenn Gallagher, Oran Hilley, Ronan Gibson, Philip Doran and, finally, Matthewson scoring for the winners.
Lagan began brightly with Toner particularly lively. On one occasion, he got around Paul McCauley in a wide position, but the cross was blocked.
Earlier, Hunter – who was subsequently sent off late in normal time – was denied by McCauley, while Toner whistled another effort just over the crossbar after connecting with Hilley’s cross.
Lagan goalkeeper Jason Quinn made a wonderful save to keep out Moore’s blisering effort, but Lagan went on the break and hit the front on 53 minutes.
Hunter blasted to the net after Tonter flicked on Micheál Doherty’s free.
It took a wonderful one-handed save by Quinn to keep John Sweeney from equalising. Quinn turned the ball onto the post and grabbed the break.
On 65 minutes, Malseed leveled when he headed Moore’s cross beyond Quinn after Chris O’Donnell turned the play in the middle.[adrotate group=”46″]
Quinn denied Malseed, but the Drumoghill midfielder wouldn’t be denied on 81 minutes when, with a cracking shot from 25 yards, let fly with a stunning effort that gave the Lagan goalkeeper no chance.
A minute later, Lagan broke and Hilley’s cross was turned in by Doran to take the game to an extra period and it wasn’t until the lottery of a shoot-out that Lagan could toast a win over their closest rivals.
Drumoghill FC: Paul McCauley, Ray Quinn, Chris O’Donnell, John Sweeney, Gerard McGranaghan, Philip White, Jay Dee Alawiye, Chris Malseed, Richard Moore, Liam O’Donnell (Mark Gibson 100), Carlos Rodgers (Pajo Rafferty 60).
Lagan Harps: Jason Quinn, Glenn Gallagher, Daniel Clarke, Ronan Gibson, Philip Doran, Oran Hilley, Paddy Collins, Marty Brogan (Conor Matthewson 75), Chris Toner, Micheál Doherty (Darren Doran 65), Mark Hunter.
Referee: Joe McHugh.Tags: