Killyleagh Scrape Through To Border Cup Semi On Penalty

Killyleagh performed as a team to win a place in the Border Cup semi-final

Killyleagh performed as a team to win a place in the Border Cup semi-final


Border Cup Round 5.

Killyleagh YC 1 Crumlin Utd 0.

Killyleagh won through to the semi-finals of the Border Cup for the first time in 11 years after facing Crumlin United in a tight struggle last Saturday.

Darren McConnell steered home a first half penalty knocking the ball low past the left hand corner post to set up a clash with Derriaghy on December 1, with a place in the Christmas-time final at stake.

There was a remarkable start to this quarter final with the kick off delayed by 42 minutes after the referee got lost on his way to The Showgrounds.

Keegan Rice stumbles in the box as he is brought down by a Crumlin Utd defender and secures a penalty.

The later kick off didn’t seem to unnerve the YC and in the first minute they produced goal opportunities for Keegan Rice and Jack Sharvin after good work from Declan McComiskey.

Conor McCarron was then denied by a fine save from McDevitt before Killyleagh again went close with two Jamie Sharvin headers within a minute from a McConnell corner and a Jack Sharvin free kick.

Crumlin produced their first big chance of the game in the 18th minute but Aaron Carberry was not called into action.

Instead it was Killyleagh who made the breakthrough in the 24th minute. McComiskey’s pace was causing problems and when he fed Rice, a Crumlin defender made a rash challenge in the area. Up stepped McConnell to make it 1-0.

Darren McConnell slots home the penalty against Crumlin Utd as Keegan Rice who was brought down in the box by defender Scott Adams looks on. (Photos by Jim Masson / Down News.).

Killyleagh continued to press and Gary Murray was unlucky when his run and shot was just over, short of the half hour mark, and then they had three chances in quick successions from a corner.

At the start of the second half, Rice fired over and then McCarron’s chip was just over from a super Barry Walsh pass.

Crumlin, spurred on by Andrew Flood, started to come into it more and they had their best chance of the game in the 61st minute when Ryan Gorman and Watters combined.

Action in the clash between Killyleagh and Crumlin Utd.

However, Killyleagh were always dangerous on the break and first Murray’s cross was looking for a finish after the keeper spilled and then the keeper redeemed himself with a brilliant save to deny McCarron after good work from McComiskey and McConnell in the 70th minute.

McCarron tried a spectacular overhead kick to meet McComiskey’s cross as Crumlin upped the pressure in the last 10 minutes. They had the ball in the net through Caldwell in the 81st minute but the referee ruled it offside.

There was almost a late sting in the tail. With the game deep into injury time, Crumlin sent their keeper forward for a corner and with all of their 11 players in the box, they were appealing that he had been fouled in the area as he went for the ball. However, again the ref waved aside the appeals.

This was a victory built on all-round graft and teamwork, and is an indication of how far Killyleagh have travelled under the managership of Paul Sharvin.

Killyleagh’s Jack Sharvin putting the Crumlin defence under pressure.

When he took over in 2017, they seemed doomed to relegation from Division 1A, but not only did he secure promotion to the top flight within 21 months, he has them challenging in the later stages of cup competitions again.

Before that, though, there is a derby encounter against Ballynahinch Olympic at The Showgrounds this weekend.

Killyleagh YC: Aaron Carberry, Gary Murray, John Murray, Jamie Sharvin, Jonathan Sharvin, Barry Walsh, Keegan Rice, Darren McConnell, Conor McCarron, Johnny Sharvin, Declan McComisky. Subs: Niall Walsh, Ethan Davidson, Cameron Howard.

Crumlin Utd: Marcin Farniok, Andrew Flood, Ross Dougherty, Ciaran Caldwell, Scott Adams, Padraig Hughes, Michael Blaney, Gerald Mallon, Dairmuid McPhilips, Patrick McCafferty, Ryan Gorman. Subs: Paul Lenaghan, Fiontan O’Boyle, Conal Cunningham.