Killyleagh Battle Into Clarence Cup Quarter Finals

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Clarence Cup 4th Round.

Killyleagh YC 6 Queens Grads 2.

Killyleagh won through to the quarter finals of the Clarence Cup for the second time in three years writes Chris Hagan.

Two goals each from Adam Neale and Jack Sharvin at the Showgrounds, along with strikes from Jon Joe Sharvin and Stevie Kennedy, eased t hem to victory in testing weather conditions at The Showgrounds on Saturday.

The gusting wind and uneven playing surface made it difficult for both teams in the opening half and although Killyleagh took an early lead through Jon Joe Sharvin, Division 2A side Queens levelled after just 10 minutes and must have been dreaming of adding another Premier Section scalp to that of Crumlin United.

Killyleagh were in attacking mood against Queen’s Grads.

However, Killyleagh YC manager Paul Sharvin had picked a very attack-orientated line up, with B J McMenamin and Lee Morrison reinforcing the front three and they regained the lead in the 32nd minute. Darren McConnell won possession in midfield and eased the ball to the lively Kennedy. He produced a super cross but the treacherous weather conditions made it difficult for first Jack Sharvin, then Neale, to provide a telling finish. However, at the second time of asking in the same move, Jack Sharvin produced a spectacular overhead kick to beat Matthew Duffy and make it 2-1.

Neale then went close with a fine effort while at the opposite end, YC keeper Aaron Carberry produced a good save from Kevin Hegarty to keep his team ahead.

Jack Sharvin on the ball for Killyleagh.

Two minutes before the half time whistle, Killyleagh made it 3-1. Lee Morrison dispatched a beauty of a pass to Jack Sharvin. He took one touch before picking his spot for his 12th goal in four games.

After the interval there were early Killyleagh raids with B J McMenamin, Kennedy and Jack Sharvin all denied. Killyleagh almost claimed their fourth but Niall Walsh’s effort was blocked on the line and then Neale’s super header from Morrison’s pinpoint cross skimmed the post.

Queens had a big chance just short of the hour mark but Jonny Murray produced a telling block to to deny Michael McLaughlin.

The YC eventually made it 4-1 in the 62nd minute when Neale finished after the Sharvin brothers linked in the box. 

Within three minutes it was 5-1 as Kennedy scored direct from a free kick, awarded after his penetrating run had been ended unceremoniously on the edge of the box.  

Flying wingman Kennedy was in his element and straight afterwards he carved out a chance for Jack Sharvin. But he was denied his hat trick by a fine save by Duffy.

Killyleagh manager Sharvin had the luxury of being able to bring on all three of his subs and the impressive Mark Murray played a key role in the sixth goal after 73 minutes. He won the ball and played in Neale for a precision finish.

With the last kick of the game, Queens made it 6-2 with a Michael Muldoon rocket shot.

Killyleagh have reached the quarter finals of the Clarence, Border and Steel Cup under Sharvin in the past three seasons but never ventured beyond that. They will be dreaming of putting that right when they host either 18th Newtownabbey or Taughmonagh in the quarter finals next month.

Before that, this weekend, Killyleagh return to league action, when they make the short trip to Drumaness. They will be hoping to pick up points to push them out of the drop zone in what will be the first Premier Section meeting between the teams in the village for over five years.

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