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Junior Cup: Kelly and Hughes the heroes as Willowbank crowned Junior Cup winners for the first time

Enniskillen Rangers 1-1 Willowbank (Willowbank win 4-2 on penalties)

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Captain Eamon Hughes and Ciaran Winchester start the celebrations.

Captain Eamon Hughes and Ciaran Winchester start the celebrations.

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

fonaCAB Irish Junior Cup

Pictured: Willowbank.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 fonaCAB Irish Junior Cup Pictured: Willowbank. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Willowbank's Eamon Hughes.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020



Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Stuart Rainey.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Stuart Rainey. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Stuart Rainey.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Stuart Rainey. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Willowbank's Eamon Hughes.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Mark Cutler and Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. 

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Mark Cutler and Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Mark Cutler and Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. 

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Mark Cutler and Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Michael Simpson and Willowbank's Connor McCullough.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Michael Simpson and Willowbank's Connor McCullough. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Michael Simpson and Willowbank's Connor McCullough.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Michael Simpson and Willowbank's Connor McCullough. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Stuart Rainey.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Stuart Rainey. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Willowbank's Eamon Hughes.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Mark Cutler and Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. 

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Mark Cutler and Willowbank's Eamon Hughes. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020

Irish Junior Cup Final

Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Michael Simpson and Willowbank's Connor McCullough.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th July 2020 Irish Junior Cup Final Pictured: Enniskillen Rangers' Michael Simpson and Willowbank's Connor McCullough. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Current champions Enniskillen Rangers are hoping to retain their Junior Cup title against Willowbank FC at Shamrock Park.

Current champions Enniskillen Rangers are hoping to retain their Junior Cup title against Willowbank FC at Shamrock Park.

Captain Eamon Hughes and Ciaran Winchester start the celebrations.

Goalkeeper Ciaran Kelly was the penalty hero as Willowbank got their hands on the Fonacab Junior Cup for the first time.

The stopper scored his own spot-kick before pulling his gloves back on to save the telling shot and hand his side a 4-2 penalty success after a 1-1 draw as Enniskillen Rangers were denied an historic fourth Irish Cup crown in a row.

West Belfast side Willowbank, who introduced a senior side only 12 years ago, had dominated for long spells of normal time and Eamon Hughes' first-half penalty looked like it would be the goal that sealed the win.

However, Enniskillen weren't prepared to let their history bid go quite so easily as star striker Jason Keenan added to his semi-final hat-trick with a late leveller that ultimately teed up the penalties.

The penalty the opened the scores looked harsh on Enniskillen as Ciaran Winchester, younger brother of Carl and Jude, seemed to jump into Kerr but Willowbank would rightly point to a penalty shout nine minute previous, in which Winchester had been body-checked by Richard Johnston and, in truth, had every right to feel aggrieved at being denied.

They proved two questionable refereeing calls but in the end, it was a deserved half-time lead. Rangers could have no complaints after they had been pinned in their own half for 25 minutes before the break.

In saying that, the biggest chances came beforehand when the game was a bit more end to end, both sides feeling they should have gone ahead.

For Enniskillen, Keenan scooped a close-range effort over the bar from a telling Mark Cutler cross and then, more impressively, cut inside from the right and curled a superb effort inches past the far post.

At the other end, midfield lynchpin Nathan O'Neill's chipped through-ball played in Pearse Devine but the former Donegal Celtic man could only skew an effort wide. Flying winger Conor McCullough also went close but his volley was headed off the line by Rangers captain Neil Coulter.

Willowbank continued their dominance into the second half and were inches from making it 2-0 two minutes after the restart but Devine’s well-hit shot smacked off the crossbar.

Rangers were looking dangerous only in brief patches but sprung the Willowbank defence just before the hour-mark with James Turley’s cutting through-ball setting Keenan clear.

As it had been in the opening minutes, it was the right man with Keenan given the opportunity to add to his semi-final hat-trick, but he could only chip an effort agonisingly off the post perhaps with too much time to think.

He saved his own blushes 12 minutes from time but owes a great debt of gratitude to left winger Chris Currie. He dashed past his man and his cross matched the build-up, teeing up Keenan unmarked at the back post to stretch and volley home the leveller.

Willowbank were again given the upper hand with six minutes on the clock as Enniskillen player/manager Michael Kerr was given a straight red for an elbow on Declan Gill.

The Belfast side almost made their numerical advantage pay with almost the last kick of normal time but Hughes’ beautifully struck free-kick curled past the top corner.

Extra-time was largely uneventful, although Willowbank’s Pearse Devine was given a straight red card with seconds left on the clock.

All that was left were the nerve-jangling penalties with Hughes, Manson, Kelly and Prigent all netting for the new cup winners.

Here's the game as it happened:

Shamrock Park its the Fonacab Junior Cup Final. Enniskillen Rangers vs Willobank FC

Posted by 365 on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

 

 

Belfast Telegraph