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Burney Cup: Foes reunited as Sullivan and Friends reach decider

 

By Graham Hamilton

Sullivan Upper and Friends will meet in next week's Burney Cup final - just like they did in December's McCullough Cup decider, which was won by the former.

The Holywood lads held off a late Wallace High rally to win their semi-final 3-2 at Lisnagarvey yesterday, while Friends edged through 3-1 against Methodist College Belfast in the earlier game.

Sullivan's win spoiled the chance of an all-Lisburn final but it did set up an intriguing rematch, particularly as that McCullough decider went to a shoot-out.

Wallace can consider themselves unlucky - they should have been two-up at the interval, converted only one of their six penalty corners and then came close to forcing extra-time.

Both Wallace's early chances came from Oli Patterson but his first rebounded off the crossbar and then he miscued when confronted by the goalkeeper.

Sullivan switched things round in the second half and it paid off as they built up a three-goal lead.

The first two came from penalty corners, with Fergus Kerr forcing home and then Paddy Crookshanks converting a drag flick.

Matthew Morris got the third from close range as Wallace were down to nine men for the third time after a handful of what seemed harsh yellow cards.

But they raised their game and Troy Chambers had a quick-fire double, the first from a penalty corner and the second a superb effort after he collected an aerial ball, drifted past defenders and unleashed a cracker.

Sullivan captain Fergus Gibson said: "We were fortunate to be level at half-time but the coach switched things and then we were three-up, although we almost blew it at the end."

Friends wobbled late on too, after building up a comfortable two-goal lead against Methody.

Andy Edgar opened their account with a penalty corner conversion and they doubled their lead with Matthew Milliken deflecting in another set-piece.

James Hunter pulled one back from a penalty corner but two minutes from the end Edgar converted another set-piece.

Co-captain Edgar said: "We made hard work of it in the first half, but it all worked out."

The final will be at Stormont Playball on March 15 (7.30pm).

Belfast Telegraph

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