Belfast Telegraph

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Sport take first cup at their Leisure

Sport & Leisure had their name inscribed on the Amateur League’s Border Cup for the first time after yesterday’s deserved win over Kilmore Rec at Wilgar Park .

It is also the first time that the team from the west Belfast have won a trophy at intermediate level while Kilmore have now been in three finals and lost them all. They can have no complaints about this one.

Sport & Leisure shocked Rec with two goals in the opening seven minutes, the first strike coming in the fifth minute from Barry Baggley who, a few moments earlier, had given Ciaran Murray an early chance as the ball sped across the face of the goal, but the winger was unable to take advantage.

But as Kilmore continued to look lackadaisical at the back, Baggley put his side in front. When the defence failed to clear the ball fell for Baggley to fire crisply inside the near post, from 18 yards giving Rec goalkeeper Kierran Gordon no chance.

But Gordon certainly had a question to ask about the second.

A through ball from Tony Norney left Joe Kearney in a race for the ball deep into the penalty box and with Gordon slow to react, Kearney beat him to the ball and stroked it into an empty net.

That shock seemed to revive Kilmore who, led by the ever dangerous striker and joint-player manager Gary Kennedy, responded by taking control of the remainder of the first period, only to find man-of- the-match Paul ‘Eggy’ McManus in superb form.

It was an intriguing battle between the pair with McManus on hand to clear one off the line and provide the sort of leadership and character that is the difference between winning and losing.

Kennedy struck with a brilliant free-kick from 25 yards to bring

Kilmore back into the game and while he rattled the bar in the second half, another soft goal conceded, in the 51st minute, proved their undoing. Sean Smyth’s cross was headed on by Kearney for Norney to past Gordon.

That settled Sport & Leisure who remained in control for the rest of the game.

Sport & Leisure: Tierney, Smyth, McQuade (McErlean 63), Dargan, McManus, Largey, Murray, O’Rourke (Hughes 72), Norney, Kearney, Baggley (Corr 81).

Kilmore Rec: Gordon, Sloan, Grant,Greener Gill, Smyth (Adler (77), Lewis (Perry 70), Young, Rogan, Kennedy, Traynor (Murray (55).

Referee: C Floyd (Newtownabbey).

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