Belfast Telegraph

Intermediate Cup featuring Championship teams - December 15

Limavady United beat the PSNI 3-2 in a full blooded, old fashioned cup tie in the wind and rain thanks to a Paul Brown hat-trick

After lively exchanges under leaden skies, the police had the first half chance in the 10th minute when a hanging cross found Steele, but first McGregor and then McGraw intervened, just doing enough to put him off.

McClelland hit back for the home side three minutes later, with a shot from distance that Quinn dealt with comfortably.

However the deadlock was soon broken, and it was down to Morrison's persistence, as he ran through the heart of the visitors' defence before cutting the ball back to Brown, who stabbed home from close range.

In the 17th minute, after a neat exchange of passes, a PSNI player volleyed over when well placed. Then, Kirgan had a free kick 25 yards from goal in the 20th minute.

Six minutes later he had another free kick wide on the right, but it went straight into McGraw's chest. Steele was next to try his luck, collecting the ball on the right and shooting across goal.

In the 35th minute, Kirgan had yet another free kick that bounced awkwardly in front of McGraw, but he reacted well to clasp the ball to his chest.

The second half began with a bang, United doubling their lead after only 35 seconds. Morrison did well to rob a defender and made space to shoot, but Quinn's save fell perfectly for Brown, who notched his second from close range.

A PSNI player then shot wide from distance. In the 56th minute, United had a scare when Ryan Mullan had to be quick to intercept a deep hanging cross with a cushioned header back to his keeper.

The game turned in the 62nd minute. Steele latched on to a ball over the top and was through on goal, but was tugged back by Ryan Mullan, who then received a red card from the referee.

United were rocked, and things got worse five minutes later as Steele collected the ball on the edge of the box, drew McGraw, and slammed the ball under him and into the net.

The visitors poured forward as United were in disarray. A PSNI player had another chance in the 69th minute, but shot straight at McGraw. Four minutes later, a PSNI player was on hand to collect a loose clearance in the box with a snap shot that beat McGraw, but not McClelland, who cleared off the line.

United had McGraw to thank a few minutes later when he produced a great block, but he was at fault in the 81st minute when he called for the ball, but was beaten by the rising Adamzcyk, who powered the ball home from close range.

It seemed as if United were now up against it, but they dug deep, and got back in the game. In the 87th minute, the Roesiders won a free kick 25 yards out, and Brown blasted the ball just over.

The game moved into extra time, and Harkin had a break down the right, crossing low into the box. The ball wasn't cleared, and Brown buried the ball in the back of the net for a memorable hat trick.

Banbridge Town 0 Wakehurst 0 (A.E.T.) Wakehurst won 5-4 on penalties

It was a dull miserable Saturday afternoon weather-wise with high winds and incessant rain, but great credit must be given to the players of both Banbridge Town and Wakehurst who produced a good game of football.

Town entered this cup tie short of no fewer than five regulars due to injury or work commitments (Paul Walsh, Adam Pedlow, Steven O'Neill, Johnny Kernoghan and Glen Waddell).

It was Wakehurst who came out of the traps first, and Town ‘keeper Stephen Cairnduff was quick off his line to clear a slow back pass from Martin Buchanan early on.

Young Nathan Baird (making his debut) soon made his presence felt with a crunching tackle to clear as the visitor mounted another attack.

Wakehurst midfielder George Young, a constant thorn to Banbridge all afternoon, charged through on goal, brushing aside a few tackles before unleashing a pile-driver which Cairnduff did well to stop.

The wind was playing havoc with both sides attempts to bring the ball down onto the ground, but Town did manage this on a few occasions and put together some promising moves.

From one of these, Gary Boyle found himself in a good position in front of goal after 15 minutes, but shot weakly into Cairn's arms.

Four minutes later, Wakehurst almost broke the deadlock when Young again burst through to send a goal-bound volley towards the corner of the net. However, Cairnduff flung himself across goal to save at full length. In the 21st minute, it looked as if the Town had opened the scoring when a neat pass from Conor Downey sent Mattie McCartan clear 15 yards out, but his chip went agonisingly wide of the open goal.

In the 27th minute, a snap shot from Town's Supporters Player of the Month Conor Downey was pushed out for a corner by Cairns.

However, it was the visitors who had slightly the better of the first half and it took the ever-alert Cairnduff to come to Town's rescue in the 40th minute when he produced a great stop from a goal-bound Jason Paul effort.

Banbridge came out fighting at the start of the second half, and almost went ahead in the 46th minute when Damian McParland saw his header from a McCartan corner go fractionally over with the ‘keeper unsighted.

Town's pressure continued, and in the 56th minute a good cross from substitute Michael Ferguson found Mattie McCartan, whose first time effort was deflected over for a corner.

Stephen Greene got his head to the resultant corner, but couldn't guide it home.

Gregg and Young had shots on Town's goal as Wakehurst regained their composure, and in the 63rd minute it was Young who created the best chance of the game when he raced past Buchanan and Ferguson before blasting over from close range.

In the 76th minute, Jason Paul tested Cairnduff with an 18 yard ground shot, but the Banbridge stopper stood up to the test once again.

Play switched to the other end, and within the space of 60 seconds Banbridge had come perilously close to taking the lead. Conor Downey swung over a left wing cross, which Martin Buchanan thundered against the bar with a powerful header. When Wakehurst desperately cleared, Mark Teggart latched on to the clearance before rattling the base of the upright with his volley.

It was non-stop, and in the 82nd minute, Andrew Laughlin turned a left wing cross onto the Banbridge upright.

Both sides attacked at will, pressing for that elusive winner, but both ‘keepers were at the top of their game and after 92 minutes, the referee sounded the final whistle with no one able to break the deadlock.

A further two periods of extra time still produced no goals, with Downey and Boyle going closest for Town, while Young and Paul did likewise for Wakehurst.

It was all down now to the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Wakehurst converted five penalties through Young, Crawford, Rodgers, Paul and Lemon. Banbridge converted four through Greene, Waddell, Boyle and McCartan. The unlucky man was Stephen Jones, whose effort was well saved by Wakehurst ‘keeper Cairns.

It was heart-breaking for Jones, who had converted all his previous spot kicks.

Next Saturday it is back to the all important league action for Town, with a tough away fixture against P.S.N.I. at Newforge (kick-off 2.00pm).

Ryan Watson will be hoping that a number of his unavailable stars will be back for selection for the start of some very crucial league games.

On Saturday, December 28, Town have no fixture while on Saturday, January 4, Queens University will be visitors to Crystal Park (kick-off 2.00pm).

Armagh City 6 Dunloy 0

It took Armagh quite a while to get out of the stalls against a determined and well organised Dunloy at Holm Park on Saturday.

But when they did get up and running, they bagged six second-half goals and romped through to the fourth round of the Intermediate Cup.

In an uneventful opening half, played in atrocious conditions, the home side dominated possession, but were unable to grind down the villagers.

But after the break, it was a completely different story.

Straight from the kick-off, Armagh won a corner and the ball was quickly played into the path of Ultan Lennon, who drilled home a 25-yard effort.

Two minutes later, City doubled their lead following a hand-ball in the box and Steven Murray drove home the spot-kick.

It was 3-0 in the 67th minute, when another rasping shot from Kevin Keegan defeated Doherty and, five minutes later, Dale Montgomery got in on the act when his low shot was helped into the net by the Dunloy stopper.

In the 90th minute, Murray blasted home his second, and City's fifth, and then the big striker secured his hat-trick in injury-time when he lashed a close range effort into the back of the visitor's net.

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