Lisburn Distillery returned to an All-Ireland competition for the first time in almost 40 years last night and they will fancy their chances of making the second round of the Setanta Sports Cup after a battling first leg 0-0 draw with UCD in Dublin.
Whites’ boss Tommy Wright will be content with both the performance and the result, particularly the second-half showing, when the Carling Premiership side could have won the game.
Distillery goalkeeper Billy Brennan, playing against his former side, did well to keep out a header from Graham Rusk on 20 minutes and he then headed wide before a couple of half-chances fell for the Whites through Andy Devlin and Glenn Ferguson.
Brennan then saved well from Robbie Creevy, before two blocks by Andy Hunter denied Rusk and then Paul O'Conor in quick succession just before half-time.
Distillery were the more purposeful side after the break as Gary Thompson broke clear, but a combination of defender and keeper got back to deny him.
UCD goalkeeper Ger Barron then made two good saves inside two minutes to twice deny Ferguson before Rusk got clear on 68 minutes, but Brennan got a touch to deflect the shot over the bar.
The tie is now poised for an exciting climax in two weeks time.
UCD: Barron, Haro, Harding (Ledwith 68), Leahy, Nangle, Marshall (Doyle 80), Corry, O'Conor, Corry, Meenan, Rusk. Subs: O'Connor, Fallon, MacGinlay, Belhuit, Morrison.
LISBURN DISTILLERY: Brennan, Callaghan, Hunter, Simpson, Devlin, Cooling, Davidson (Forsythe 85), G.Thompson, Kilmartin, Patton (Cushley 80), Ferguson (Browne 85). Subs: McShane, S.Thompson, Boyle, Matthews.
Referee: David McKeon (FAI).