It’s a Christmas final for Downpatrick this year as the beat Immaculata in Seaview, click on the link below to find out how they went about securing the victory…
Wednesday 9th November – NAFL Border Cup Semi-Final
Downpatrick FC 3 v Immaculata FC 1
Downpatrick progressed to the final of this year’s Border Cup in impressive style, defeating last year’s nemesis Immaculata by three goals to one. The truth be told if Downpatrick had have taken their chances especially in the first half the margin could have been far greater.
Downpatrick started the game in a positive fashion and their direct fast attacking style caused Immaculata all sorts of problems, with their defence struggling to mark Downpatrick’s front trio of Stephen Galbraith, Philip Traynor and Jack McLaughlin. The first chance of the game fell to Downpatrick, Galbraith was released down the left wing and his first time cross was met by the marauding Ricky Kerr and his shot was well saved, McLaughlin saw his rebound blocked by the Immaculata defence.
Immaculata broke down the right wing minutes later and the ball was played to the edge of the box for their striker to hit a shot which Michael McKenna comfortably saved. Downpatrick broke the deadlock on 17 minutes, Traynor was fouled out on the left wing, a Barry Treacy free kick caused confusion in the box and the ball was only partially cleared to the edge of the box to Traynor. The Downpatrick striker tried to control the ball but was closed down and the ball looped back over the ‘Mac’ defence, Kerr reacted quickest and as the keeper came out to close him down he passed the ball inside were McLaughlin had the simplest of tasks of heading the ball into the empty net from five yards out.
Five minutes later Downpatrick produced the move of the match which nearly resulted in the goal of the season, McKenna gathered the ball from an Immaculata scuffed shot, he rolled the ball out to the right back position to Treacy. Treacy passed the ball into Kerr in midfield and the midfielder helped the ball round the corner first time to Galbraith who was out wide on the halfway line. The Downpatrick striker played the ball down the line to McLaughlin, his first time flick found Kerr who had continued his run, he beat the defender before producing the perfect cross into the box. Traynor attacked the ball but agonisingly saw his header drift wide of the far post.
Downpatrick wasted a number of good chances before the game entered the 40th minute, Ricky Kerr picked up possession just inside his own half, he tried to find Glabraith but the ball was cut out. The Immaculata defender scuffed his clearance and Galbraith pounced on the loose ball before playing the ball through for McLaughlin who had beaten the offside trap. The young striker drew the keeper out before coolly slotting the ball past him low into the net for his and Downpatrick’s second.
Half Time: Downpatrick FC 2 v Immaculata FC 0
Both teams had plenty of possession at the beginning of the second half but couldn’t create any clear cut chances. The on the hour mark Downpatrick scored their third, Aaron McGarry cut out a forward pass by Immaculata in the left back position. He played a one two with Ricky Kerr before passing the ball into midfield to Jack McLaughlin, the Downpatrick player attacked the space in front of him, running thirty yards with the ball before passing to Philip Traynor at the edge of the box. Traynor jinked one way before another creating a yard of space to curl a delightful shot into the right hand side of the goal past the Immaculata keeper who was rooted to the spot. Minute’s later influential midfielder Andy Baggley suffered an innocuous looking injury and had to be replaced by Tony McIlhone.
The change in personnel caused Downpatrick to alter their formation and this allowed Immaculata to come back into the game. With twenty minutes remaining they got their goal, a good passing movement saw them get in behind the Downpatrick defence on the right hand side, the ball was pulled back to an Immaculata player at the edge of the box. His first time shot seemed destined for the bottom right corner but Downpatrick’s Michael McKenna got down low to produce an excellent save, the ball appeared to be going out for a corner but was kept it in play. With McKenna bearing down on the Immaculata player he calmly passed it back to the edge of the six yard box for Padraig Adams to shoot high into the Downpatrick net.
Immaculata now sensed that they had an opportunity to get back into the game and started to pile on the pressure, they created a number of chances but couldn’t find that killer touch. On one occasion a free kick was whipped into the box and Mark Holland watched on as his attempted clearance looked to be going into the back of his own net only for McKenna to dive full length and push the ball away for an unbelievable save. The ‘Mac’s’ chances ended when one of their players was shown a second yellow card with five minutes to go allowing Downpatrick to see out the remainder of the game comfortably to advance to the Christmas show piece.
Downpatrick: 1) M McKenna 2) N Taggart 3) M Holland 4) M Carson 5) R Kerr 6) A Baggley 7) B Treacy 8) J McLaughlin 9) S Galbraith 10) P Traynor 11) A McGarry 12) C Holland 14) C McCarron 15) T McIlhone
Click on the link to view the highlights of last nights game, highlights courtesy of Tommy Philips