Albert Foundry manager Colin McIlwaine is confident his side can replicate their cup form in the league after beating Amateur League Premier Division rivals Kilmore Rec in the Border Cup final at Seaview yesterday.
The two finalists are some way off leaders Ards Rangers at present but with games in hand and, after seeing his players deservedly lift this major trophy, he claimed: "Surely now we can get our heads up and prove we can contend. I am over the moon, and so proud of this team and of the club."
It was clear from the off that the wind was going to play an influential role in proceedings, but Kilmore almost dispelled that theory with an early opportunity against the conditions, in the second minute.
A misplaced clearance from John Burns allowed Eoin Boyle the opportunity to play a dangerous through ball to Matty Hardy, whose shot flew narrowly wide.
It wasn't long, however – five minutes, in fact – before Foundry had taken full advantage of the blustery gale behind them. Niall McCarthy latched onto an Aaron Harris cross with a goalward shot, but Paul McCord got a final touch at the back post to ensure it got over the line.
There was almost a second Foundry goal moments later, when, with the wind full in his face, Johnny Cheevers attempted to head clear, but it travelled back into his own box and Kilmore were relieved to see Hardy's resultant drive go the same way as his earlier attempt.
At the other end, goalkeeper Michael McKenna was doing a good job at keeping the gap to just one goal, rushing out to make himself big and deny Barry Moore from a matter of yards, and keeping his cool to grab hold of a wicked curling set-piece from Bill Maxwell.
Kilmore might have pulled the sides level just before half time, but for a Graham Beck tug on a clean-through Boyle, which earned him the game's first yellow card. The free kick came to nothing, with Douglas blasting straight into the wall.
This game was always going to be about who used the wind advantage best and, unfortunately for Kilmore, it wasn't them, as a half-chance from Traynor from inside the area and a Peter Telford header over the bar were about as close as they came in a barren second half.
Traynor did manage to put the ball in the net in the second minute of injury time, but he redirected a looping Peter Casey header from an offside position.
The lively striker wheeled away in mistaken celebration but, just seconds later, was left with his head in his hands as Gary Chisholm headed through to Darren McCombe, who caught McKenna out of his box, and simply passed the ball into the empty net.
Albert Foundry: Dillon, W Maxwell, Moore, Beck, Burns, Harris, D McCombe, W McCombe (Doyle 80), McCord (Bloomer 64), B Maxwell, Chisholm. Sub not used: McAlinden
KILMORE REC:! McKenna, Douglas, McGarry, Miskelly (Casey 85), Cheevers, McKinney, Hardy (Lewis 50), McCarthy, Boyle, Traynor, Curran (Telford 64).