Dubs ‘Kil’ off Bellurgan’s Leinster hopes
LEINSTER JNR CUP KILMORE 3 BELLURGAN UTD 2
BELLURGAN suffered the price for a wretched first-half display. Although they managed to wipe out a two nil interval deficit a last minute succour punch put paid to their hopes of a successful run in the Leinster Junior Cup on Sunday and ended their four match winning run.
The Peninsula side barely tested the AUL side’s goalkeeper in the first half in which they simply never got going. They could easily have fallen behind as early as the second minute and were two nil in arrears after a half an hour.
Things could only improve in the second-half and they did, and ten minutes in Barry Carr went close to reducing the deficit when he headed narrowly over the crossbar at the end of a fine move in which Brian White sent Shane Finnegan racing down the left to whip in a cross to the striker eight yards from goal.
The visitors got their reward for their more assertive play half way through following a lovely move with White again involved. He worked a one two with Owen Armstrong to split the middle of the Kilmore defence for Ciaran Sheelan to race onto his pass and took the ball past the goalkeeper and slotted it into the empty net.
Two minutes after that Kilmore were reduced to ten men with one of their players receiving a second yellow card. The momentum was most definitely with Bellurgan now as they dominated play and should have equalised in the 75th minute.
Substitute Declan Sharkey only minutes after his introduction beat the home left full and entered the penalty box and pulled the ball back for Barry Carr to set-up Sheelan who shot over the bar with his left foot.
The equaliser however, arrived ten minutes from the end when Shane Finnegan sent a cracking free-kick to the home net from 30 yards, manoeuvring it over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
All the odds were stacked in Bellurgan’s favour, having seized control of the play and now with an extra man. But then in a cruel twist instead of being awarded a blatant penalty, and the chance to go ahead and in all probability book their place in the next round they had Brian White sent-off.
He protested to the referee over the decision not to penalise the home side for a handball. He was already booked and the official showed the yellow card again to him, and cut short his involvement in the tie.
Then salt was rubbed into the wound of his side when a defensive error was seized upon by Kilmore who intercepted a pass in defence by Daragh Rafferty to score the winning goal.
Ciaran Sheelan went within inches with a 30 yard free-kick of scoring just before the final whistle and forcing the tie into extra-time.
BELLURGAN: Robert Arthur, Aoghan McGuinness, Ray Finnegan, Daragh Lafferty, John Smith (Declan Sharkey 60), Sean McEvoy, Brian White, Shane Finnegan, Owen Armstrong, (Stephen Finnegan 75), Barry Carr, Ciaran Sheelan.
Padraig Faulkner of Grove Rangers and Paddy Reilly of Rock Celtic in action on Sunday.