Lamont hails Derriaghy heroes
Michael Lamont On Wednesday night praised his Derriaghy CC players for coming back from 3-1 down to beat derby rivals Dunmurry Rec on penalties in Wednesday night’s Clarence Cup final.
Speaking after his team scored all five of their spot kicks at Upper Braniel Road, the former Banbridge Town boss said: “We were all very disappointed to have missed out on promotion to the Premier Division this season, but this goes a long, long way to make up for it. They were superb.”
Derriaghy’s nerves were calmed when David Elliot caught the ball with a sweet volley from the edge of the area to give his side a 29th minute lead. And when Keith Robinson was dismissed for a wreckless challenge on Niall Burke in the 37th minute, it seemed that the Division 1A men were the team holding all the cards. However, even with a man down, Dunmurry managed to turn the game on its head.
The comeback began five minutes before half time, as Ryan McCurdy took the ball past several defenders and regained his feet from a challenge from the Derriaghy keeper to poke the ball over the line.
Dunmurry’s hard work paid off in the 59th minute as Glen Hand was brought down in the box, before getting back up to convert the resulting penalty.
Hand stretched his team’s lead 15 minutes later, when he took the ball from the feet of James Montgomery before rounding Simpson for an easy tap-in.
Now it was time for Derriaghy to stage their own comeback, as Montgomery headed them to within a goal of their opponents with ten minutes to go. Then, in the fifth minute of injury time, substitute Connor Strong drew the sides level with a superb strike off the inside of the left post.
There was no winner in extra-time, although a second yellow for Richard Rutherford saw Dunmurry reduced to nine men so it was down to penalties.
Andrew Rosbotham, Stuart Orr, Barry Bloomer, Christopher Stewart and Aaron Baker all scored from the spot to spark Derriaghy celebrations.
Dunmurry Rec: Warnock, Fenton, McDonnell, McCurdy (Green 87), Robinson, McClarnon, Bond, Hewitt, Rutherford, Hand, Rooney (Hughes 90). Sub not used: Dowds
Derriaghy CC: Simpson, Patterson (Arnott 73), Montgomery, Guiney, McKinstry, Burke (Rosbotham 45), Eliott (Strong 60), Stewart, Bloomer, Orr, Baker.
Referee: Stephen Gregg (Ballyclare).