Belfast Telegraph

McGonigle shows that bit extra to break Larne hearts

Larne 3 Coleraine 5

High jump: Coleraine’s Eoin Bradley celebrates scoring
High jump: Coleraine’s Eoin Bradley celebrates scoring

By Ian Cahoon

Coleraine came from behind twice to seal their place in the last four of the Tennent's Irish Cup after extra-time at Inver Park.

It was a pulsating tie, perfect for the watching BBC audience, and a game Championship side Larne led 2-0 at half-time and then 3-2 going into stoppage time.

However, Rodney McAree's side showed their character.

Davy McDaid's hat-trick for the home side was to no avail, as poor defending cost Tiernan Lynch's men.

Both clubs sold out their allocation, leading to a packed-out Inver Park with over 2,600 fans.

In Larne's starting line-up were Conor Devlin, Chris Ramsey, Martin Donnelly, Tomas Cosgrove and McDaid who have all won honours at Cliftonville, as well as former Northern Ireland international Jeff Hughes.

The opening exchanges were tight between the sides who met in the semi-finals last season.

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In the opening quarter, both sides had a goal disallowed.

With eight minutes on the clock, Larne were first to have a goal chalked off. With the Invermen having the opportunity to break on the counter attack, McDaid slipped the ball to Donnelly, who was offside.

On 15 minutes, Coleraine also had the ball in the net through Dean Shiels. However, his shove on Ramsey resulted in a yellow card.

As the first half wore on, Larne began to dominate.

The goalscoring was opened on 20 minutes. A wicked in-swinging cross from Lee Lynch on the left saw McDaid steer a header towards goal. Chris Johns was unable to hold onto it and McDaid followed up.

Two minutes later, McDaid should have doubled the lead. This time the cross came from Cosgrove on the right but he couldn't get a full connection, allowing Johns to tip over.

However, they did double the lead with 31 minutes gone. Former Sligo Rovers midfielder Lynch returned the ball to Ben Tilney on the left and his cross was steered home by McDaid.

Coleraine were handed a lifeline when Eoin Bradley took advantage of a slip in the home rearguard on the hour mark.

He found himself alone in the box after a looped cross caught out Larne's back three and took full advantage to slot home.

It was Bradley who levelled the match eight minutes from time. Again the home side failed to clear and in the panic Graham Kelly upended Stephen Lowry.

Bradley slotted his penalty low down the middle, through Devlin's legs.

However, it looked like Larne had won it three minutes from time when Hughes turned and slotted in McDaid, who coolly finished for his hat-trick.

There was further late drama, though, as Coleraine sub Jamie McGonigle got on the end of a deep ball and fired his half-volley in off the ground past Devlin.

Coleraine were ahead two minutes into extra-time when the ball was allowed to roll right across the six-yard box and the unfortunate Tilney poked it beyond Devlin and into his own net.

Huddersfield loanee Dom Tear had a chance to level before the break in extra-time, but Johns made a fine save to deny him.

Coleraine effectively played the remainder of extra-time with 10 men with defender Aaron Canning struggling with injury. With all subs made, he stayed on.

The last word went to the visitors as McGonigle, played in by Bradley, turned Tear inside the box and lashed into the top corner from a tight angle with just three minutes of extra-time left.

After extra-time

Larne: Devlin, Sule, Ramsey, McEleney, Kelly, McDaid (Stewart 88), Donnelly (Igiehon 78), Tilney (Scullion 99), Lynch, Cosgrove (Tear 70), Hughes.

Unused subs: Doughterty, Scullion, Stuart, Hassin.

Coleraine: Johns, Lowry, Bradley, McConaghie, Burns (McLaughlin 87), O'Donnell, Canning, B. Doherty, Edgar (Mullan 91), Glackin (Carson 46) , Shiels (McGonigle 57).

Unused subs: M. Doherty, Parkhill, King

Referee: Andrew Davey

Belfast Telegraph


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