Downpatrick reached the Border Cup Final with a gritty and determined display, read the full match report to find out how…
Wednesday 26th November – NAFL Border Cup Semi-Final
Downpatrick FC 2 v Crumlin Star 0
Downpatrick reached the Border Cup final after a hard fought win over Premier League side Crumlin Star. For all Downpatricks ability and class to control games and score goals this season, it was true grit and team work that earned them their place in Christmas decider.
If the truth be told the opening 15 minutes was nowhere near the standard Downpatrick have set this season and it took Michael McKenna to produce some solid moments between the posts to keep his side in it. As confidence grew throughout the ‘County Town’ side, disaster struck when midfield maestro Conor McKenna suffered a nasty knee injury and had to be replaced on 20 minutes by Chrissy Mullan. If that set back wasn’t enough captain Mark Curran suffered the same fate 5 minutes later and was replaced by Eoin Boyle, both face a race against time to be fit for the final.
The pace of the game was frantic and both teams were showing their passing qualities, as the half went on Downpatrick started to take control and chances from Andrew Telford, Mark Holland and Peter Telford where wasted. As the game entered the 45th minute Barry Treacy skinned his man down the right hand side, slipped the ball to the on rushing Andrew Telford whose low drive was saved by the Crumlin Star keeper. The resulting corner was swung in by Treacy and Peter Telford was on hand to steer the ball into the net with his right foot to open the scoring right on the stroke of half time.
Half Time: Downpatrick FC 1 v Crumlin Star 0
At the start of the second half both teams settled quicker and began to pass the ball better but Crumlin Star where finding it hard to get any joy out of Downpatricks back four of Terence Bell, Blaine Connolly, Aaron McGarry and the daddy of them all Mark Holland. Peter Telford and Treacy had shots from the edge of the area just sail over the bar and a strong penalty appeal waved away after a foul on Chrissy Mullan.
It seemed like only a matter of time before Downpatrick settled the game but the final pass was missing when needed most, two blinding saves from Andrew Telford and Eoin Boyle efforts kept Crumlin stars hopes alive but peter Telford and the outstanding Andy Baggley had tightened their grip on the midfield battle. A triple substitution from Crumlin Star was their last throw of the dice but they had their hearts well and truly broken by a stubborn Downpatrick team who closed down and blocked every half chance they tried to create.
On 90mins Downpatrick made sure they reached Xmas Final. Niall ‘Bush’ Walsh who had earlier replaced Bell in the defence played a long free which was flicked on by Andrew Telford towards Eoin Boyle, the Crumlin Star defender was favourite to get to the ball but was caught in two minds and Boyle took control of the situation to take the ball away and showed the composure to slip the ball past the Crumlin Star keeper to send the mass crowd of Downpatrick supports into raptures.
Downpatrick: 1) M McKenna 2) T Bell 3) B Connolly 4) M Curran 5) M Holland 6) A Baggley 7) B Treacy 8) C McKenna 9) P Telford 10) A Telford 11) A McGarry 12) E Boyle 14) C Mullan 15) N Walsh
Match Sponsor: SC Developments
Match Ball Sponsor: Tel’s Confectionery