Downpatrick FC Enjoy Second Round Intermediate Cup Victory Over Dundela

IFA Intermediate Cup

Second Round – Saturday 19 December 2015

Dundela 1  Downpatrick FC  4

On a roll, Downpatrick FC performed a crushing victory over Dundela at Wilgar Park in East Belfast last Saturday in the IFA Intermediate Cup following their recent first round 2-3 win over Dundonald.

[caption id="attachment_60640" align="aligncenter" width="540"]The Downpatrick first team who beat Dundela in the second round tie of the Intermediate Cup at Wilgar Park. The Downpatrick first team who beat Dundela in the second round tie of the Intermediate Cup at Wilgar Park. (Photos by Jim Masson).[/caption]

Downpatrick joint manager Joe McMahon said: “We were looking very confident from the start. We were happy to be classed as underdogs. Our players applied themselves to the task and did the business. The team is playing well and that is brilliant despite having played most of our games away from home this season due to the wet condition of the Rossconnor pitch.”

[caption id="attachment_60641" align="alignleft" width="340"]Downpatrick midfileder  races past Dundela's Downpatrick midfileder Ruairi Fitzpatrick races past Dundela’s Scott Collins in the Intermediate Cup second round clash.[/caption]

Downpatrick played solidly as a team and despite spells of intense pressure from the home side, held their ground. The first half particularly saw a fairly heavy bombardment at the Downpatrick goal but McKenna was on form. In the second half the Downpatrick defenders certainly tightened up slowing down the effectiveness of the Dundela attacks.

The first real effort in the game following early pressure from Downpatrick came after a couple of minutes came with  Mark Holland shooting from the right forcing Dundela to make a panicky clearance. But Dundela soon bounced back with repeated attacks starting with defender Scott Collins volleying just over the Downpatrick top bar. Then a cross from Ethan Knipe to Matthew Burrows was again volleyed at the Downpatrick goal but was held by McKenna.

Fortunately for the visitors, Dundela’s goal shooting accuracy was off the mark  despite the Knipe-Burrows partnership looking ominous for Downpatrick.

In the 12th minute, Eoin Boyle put Downpatrick into the lead with a low volley to the inside left post which Johnny Sergeant failed to hold and the ball dribbled over the line.

[caption id="attachment_60642" align="alignright" width="390"]Eoin Boyle carves his way through the Dundela defence. Eoin Boyle carves his way through the Dundela defence.[/caption]

But Dundela broke quickly showing their determination on the restart and it took an excellent clearance from Downpatrick defender Aaron McGarry to block Matthew Kerr bearing down on the goal.

Downpatrick looked focussed and their short passing was very effective. They kept play as much as possible in the Dundela half and at 30 minutes it looked as though the onus was on Dundela to score the equaliser. But it was not to be their day when Downpatrick’s Eoin Boyle broke through on a run and faced keeper Sergeant in his box. Boyle rounded him and slid the ball into the net for the visitor’s second goal.

Dundela again bounced back sharply and forced a corner but McKenna’s safe hands put an end to the Dundela attack.

Peter Telford too was wreaking havoc in the centre of the field against Dundela and almost forced the ball in for a third from a short pass from Boyle in the goal mouth. Downpatrick were certainly showing their creativity in scoring and showing no fear of being underdogs to the Irish League Division 2 side.

[caption id="attachment_60643" align="alignleft" width="390"]Downpatrick's Peter Telford celebrates after scoring against Dundela. Downpatrick’s Peter Telford celebrates after scoring against Dundela.[/caption]

But as the second half approached, Dundela pressed forward to try and reduce the scoreline fearing further goals from Downpatrick. But at half-time the score remained  0-2 for Downpatrick.

Downpatrick started the second half upbeat once again and there was a question of how much energy the Dundela side had already expended. The visitors battled from the start and forced Dundela around their goal area, and a volley from Boyle on the 7th minute saw the ball richochette off the keeper’s leg. Boyle was certainly ‘on the boil’ and terrorising the Dundela defence when he could.

Stephen Galbraith who has scored 15 goals so far this year normally plays centre was tasked to the left wing and found it a different experience but kept up good pace and crossed well.

Dundela had a chance to pull back when they won a free kick outside the Downpatrick box but missed the opportunity.

[caption id="attachment_60644" align="alignright" width="300"]In the ball... Downpatrick defender Barry Fitzsimmons. On the ball… Downpatrick defender Barry Fitzsimmons.[/caption]

Downpatrick managers Joe McMahon and Shortie Trueman made a tactical change and took off Ruauri Fitzpatrick who had to that point a great work rate. On came stalwart Andrew Telford who also had an impact on the game. A short time later Andrew Baggley was fouled by Dundela defender Owen Thompson near the box and Galbraith struck it from the spot into the left of the post to put Downpatrick 0-3 ahead.

But again the home side came back strongly with Lee Lenaghan shooting at close range and it took an excellent reflex save from McKenna to keep the ball out of the net.

There was just 15 minutes to go and the tension in the match had become electric. Galbraith kept the pressure up will an excellent run and volley to the goal forcing the keeper to push out for a corner. Andrew Telford took the corner and Peter Telford close to the inside post knocked the ball into the net despite being harried by three defenders. It was 0-4 for Downpatrick and Dundela’s chance of recovery then were slim.

But Dundela did once again mount a charge at Downpatrick and with 11 minutes to go Knipe put through to Kerr who hit a great volley which was inches over the Downpatrick top bar.

Downpatrick were looking confident as the game entered the dying embers stage with Ricky Kerr who played his part in the Downpatrick victory taking the ball into the Dundela half keeping Downpatrick safe right to the final whistle… almost.

But with one final twist in the 43rd minute, Dundela scored with a low volley from Matthew Burrows from just outside the box making the final score 1-4.

This was an excellent scalp for Downpatrick. They are currently lying in second position in the NAFL Premier League in a strong position and must be encouraged at having taken on an Irish League second division side and won.

The game got tense at the end and Dundela managed to claw back some comfort with a goal but the home side had left the recovery far too late.

Downpatrick FC: Michael McKenna, Barry Fitzimmons, Aaron McGarry, Mark Holland, Niall Walsh, Andrew Baggley, Ruairi Fitzpatrick, Ricky Kerr, Stephen Galbraith, Peter Telford, Eoin Boyle.  Subs: Andrew Telford, Adrian McCoubrey, Gerrard Collins.

Dundela FC: Johnny Sergeant, Owen Thompson, Scott Collins, Gary Irwin, Colin Smith, Stephen Gourley, Ethan Knipe, Lee Lenaghan, Mark McClelland, Matthew Burrows, Matthew Kerr. Subs: Stephen Shaw, Jordan West, Scott Dornan, Adam Neale, James Taylor.