St Patrick's chairman Dave Rimes remains positive after Border Cup exit
St Patrick’s YM may have waved goodbye to their chances of winning this year’s Border Cup after a 6-4 quarter-final defeat against Albert Foundry, but it’s no wonder chairman Dave Rimes still wears a huge smile on his face.
The cheery founder member of the club was full of praise for his players after watching them continually pull themselves back into a game they had once looked like winning in normal time.
He told The Park: “Although we are two divisions below Foundry, there was nothing between and the two sides on Saturday. It was a good performance and shows how far we have come since joining the intermediate ranks last year.
“Obviously we are disappointed to have lost, but there were no glum faces in the changing room afterwards, because the boys had a lot to be proud of.”
Impressively, the Division 1B team were 2-0 up at the break, with goals from Mark Stevenson (the club’s 12th different scorer this season) and Tony McNally. And after they conceded early in the second half, Aiden Mulvenna had a penalty opportunity to restore the advantage, but missed from the spot.
They then went 3-2 behind, following two quick-fire goals in a minute from Foundry, but Paul Irvine reignited their hopes with a 94th minute strike.
Into extra time they went, and even when Foundry netted again in the first half, St Pat’s hit back again with an immediate reply through Raymond Spotswood. In the end though, the Premier Division men finished the stronger, with two late strikes in the second spell.
This positive display was the latest in a series for a club who could otherwise have chosen to hid behind the veil of a “transitional period” to excuse any poor performances or results. But St Pat’s have just kept up their same high standards regardless.
Rimes explained: “Ciaran Smyth has taken over the first team, after Paddy Conway stepped down due to family commitments… although he is still in the background at the club.
“The team have done brilliantly in the three games Smythy has been in charge. We got our biggest league win of the season against Dunmurry YM (4-0), then we beat Linfield Swifts in the Intermediate Cup, so matching Foundry like that was great to keep our good form going.
“I know everyone says it, but the league is our priority, so we are looking forward to getting a few more games under our belt. We haven’t really played many of the main challengers yet, so it’s hard to say how things will go this year.
“All the teams seen to be beating each other, so it is wide open – but with our squad, I’d expect us to be there or thereabouts.”
Foundry, on the other hand, can look forward to a semi-final tie against Crumlin Star, who beat Mossley 4-2 on Saturday, Kilmore Rec, who defeated Killyleagh YC 4-3 in a tight derby (see our Match of the Day report), or Downpatrick / 1st Bangor, whose game was rained off on Saturday, and has been pencilled in for this weekend.
Belfast Telegraph Digital