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Burrows' late brace books final passage

Dundela 2 Glebe Rangers 0

By Keith Bailie

Published 26/11/2016

Steel men: Glebe Rangers’ Joshua Elliot (left) and Dundela’s Gary Irwin
Steel men: Glebe Rangers’ Joshua Elliot (left) and Dundela’s Gary Irwin

Dundela can look forward to their 22nd Steel & Sons Cup final thanks to a pair of late goals from club legend Matthew Burrows.

The former Glentoran striker found the net in the 89th and 94th minutes to give the Premier Intermediate League side a 2-0 win over brave Ballymena and Provincial League side Glebe Rangers. The Duns last won the Toals Bookmakers Steel & Sons Cup in 2013, while Burrows was part of the side that won it in 2007.

For the most part, this was a desperately dull semi-final, but Burrows gave the Seaview crowd something to talk about on a freezing cold Belfast night.

Former Knockbreda centre back Thomas Healy almost handed the Duns the lead in the 15th minute when he got his head to a Ben Browne corner. His powerful header dropped off the crossbar, before Glebe's defence cleared the danger.

Browne tried his luck in the 20th minute with a spectacular half-volley from 25 yards, but his dipping effort was well held by the alert Chris Fullerton.

Former Glentoran man Burrows found a yard of space inside the Glebe penalty area in the 23rd minute, but his drive went just wide.

In the 35th minute, former Ards man Mark McClelland headed the ball across goal from a set piece, gifting midfielder Jamie Jackson a chance, but he miss-hit his six-yard effort when a goal looked certain.

David Murphy's Dundela were the dominant force throughout the first half but were unable to find the net, with Glebe Rangers defending well. The men from Ballymoney had a little more of the ball in the second half, although chances were thin on the ground.

Burrows tried to liven things up on two occasions. In the 60th minute his 20-yard shot deflected past the post, and in the 85th minute tried his luck from further out, but Fullerton gathered the shot at the second attempt.

Perhaps then it was no surprise when Burrows grabbed the winner, with the game seemingly set for extra-time. Veteran Glen Irwin's superb free kick picked out Burrows, he rose above the Glebe defence to power home a header from around 10 yards in the 89th minute.

Glebe throw everything forward in stoppage time, causing the Belfast side problems from set pieces. In the fourth minute of stoppage time goalkeeper Fullerton joined his team mates in the Dundela penalty box.

That plan backfired on the Ballymena league side, with the Duns clearing the ball up field towards Burrows.

The striker showed all his class to carry the ball forward, cutting infield past a Glebe defender before stroking the ball into the unguarded net. The second goal sparked wild celebrations amongst the Dundela contingent, as brave Glebe sank to their knees.

Murphy's Dundela will face either Linfield Swifts or Crumlin Star in the final on Christmas Eve. The NIFL Development League side will face the Amateur League Premier Division side at Seaview on Monday night in the second semi-final.

This year's final will be played on Christmas Eve as Christmas Day falls on a Sunday.

Dundela: Sergeant; Jackson (66 Collins), Roy, Healy, McClelland, Brown; Irwin, Browne (86 Ferguson), Lenaghan; Sofley, Burrows. Subs Not Used: Leetch, Manley, Gourley

Glebe Rangers: Fullerton; Morrison, Sheppard, Dobbin, Spence; Brown (86 Dunlop), Brace (62 Kennoway), Reid, Elliot; Mitchell, Christie

Subs Not Used: S. Shaw, Hart, N. Shaw

Belfast Telegraph

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