Robert Duddy is delighted at Harryville Homers' glory
Harryville Homers 3-1 Rosemount Rec
Harryville Homers manager Robert Duddy has spoken of his immense pride at leading the team to their second successive Junior Cup victory with a 3-1 victory over Rosemount Rec at Hagan Park, Coagh.
The Ballymena Saturday Morning League side fell behind to a first-half Stephen Atcheson goal, before Rosemount were reduced to 10 men just before half time in a defining moment that spurred the Homers on to three goals in the second half.
Duddy said: "I'm a proud man. To have reached three finals in three years entering the competition was a massive achievement, but this just tops the lot.
"All credit to Rosemount, they gave us a tough game, but we knew not to panic and showed the hunger and desire to retain the trophy."
Harryville had the best of the early attacking possession and Ryan Stewart tested Rosemount goalkeeper Chris Rice with a 25-yard shot, which he duly caught.
Gary Bonnes carried the threat for Harryville and produced a dangerous header on the half hour from a Stewart corner, but Rice was equal to it.
A minute later, however, Rosemount's Atcheson succeeded where Bonnes had failed, heading home powerfully from a David Nicholl corner.
Then, in the 41st minute drama unfolded in a manic few moments. Paul McNeill put the ball into the net from a fantastic Alan Rainey through-ball, but was brought down by David Keenan in the process.
Referee Barry Monaghan was surrounded by protesting players from both sides. He eventually pointed to the spot and showed red to the Rosemount defender. Up stepped Bonnes, but he dragged his shot wide.
Despite missing that golden chance Harryville got the equaliser in the 52nd minute. David Nicholl reacted quickest to a poor backwards header from Neill Melville, sending a stunning bicycle-kick beyond the helpless Rice.
It was largely one-way traffic now and Rosemount were relieved to see Nicholl lob over and Atcheson cut out a quick-fire cross from McNeill.
It was only a matter time before Harryville's pressure told, and McNeill poked his side ahead in the 76th minute, in a frantic goalmouth scramble from a Stewart corner.
In injury time, McNeill broke the offside trap to play Jason Magill in or a simple tap-in to make sure of the win.
Harryville Homers: McCosh, Forsythe, Stewart (Spratt, 80), Russell, Baird, Bonnes (Magill, 87), Rainey (Logan, 80), McNeill, D Nicholl, R Nicholl, McKay. Subs not used: Magill, Martin.
Rosemount Rec: Rice, M McAvoy, Palmer (Crawford, 80), Atcheson, Keenan, Canmore (Harrison, 88) Melville, A Eccles, Harper, M Miller, N Eccles (Adair, 56). Subs not used: C McAvoy, A Miller.
Referee: Barry Monaghan (Irvinestown).