Irish Cup Second Round
Downpatrick 4 Brantwood 2
DOWNPATRICK were is excellent form in the second round of the Irish Cup as they faced Brantwood. A brilliant McMenamin hat-trick sent Downpatrick soaring into the third round of the JJB Sports Irish Cup. They were quick to assert their lead when in the 10th minute Andrew Telford slipped the ball through to BJ McMenamin who took his goal well. Just after, Telford again passed to McMenamin who was just denied as the Brantwood keeper got his hand to the ball.
Brantwood totally failed to harness the elusive striker who was to remain the scourge of the Antrim travellers throughout. He shattered their hopes of a Cup run with a quality goal-scoring exhibition that highlighted one of Downpatrick’s best outings this season.
But Brantwood tried to claw their way back and earned a free kick just outside the box and keeper Gordon pushed it over the bar.
Then in the 20th minute Downpatrick’s Charlie Holland had a half chance but shot wide in the very strong wind. The home side were all over Brantwood and in the 35th minute their pressure paid off as McMenamin again scored slipping the ball past the keeper after being lined up by Holland who took the ball to the line.
Brantwood fought back and in one attack they caught Downpatrick down the right wing. Keeper Kieran Gordon came out to tackle and clipped his opponent giving away a penalty.
But looking back on the first half, Andy Telford and McMenamin terrorised the Ballymena and Provincial Intermediate League outfit.
As the second half started, Charlie Holland took the ball down the right wing crossing to Andy Telford at the back of the box. Telford tapped the ball in to make it 3-1. A few minutes later Telford had another chance from 30 yards but the wind robbed him lifting it over the bar with the keeper completely beaten.
Downpatrick continued to control the game and Telford was on fire passing the ball to the wind to Barry Fitzsimons who beat his marker crossing to Declan McCurry but he just could not get his foot to it. Then in the 48th minute there was more drama as McMenamin sent the ball past the post. Minutes later he took another shot at the Brantwood goal from a free kick outside the box but once again the strong swirling wind denied him as it flew over the bar.
Downpatrick conjured up one of the best moves of the match when the active Telford flicked to the running Barry Fitzsimons who flew past a rooted defender to cross to Declan McCurry in space, but he was unlucky not to make contact.
Telford was in the action again when he almost scored but the keeper made it hard for him to turn. Then it was Brantwood on the 70th minute who had a free kick at the Downpatrick goal but Barry Fitzsimons cleared it.
The goal of the game came five minutes from the whistle when BJ McMenamin lobbed a 40-yarder over the keeper to make it 4-1. Just at the end of the match, Barry Fitzsimons made a heavy tackle in the box and gave away a penalty which Brantwood converted leaving the final score 4-2. But Downpatrick had celebrated victory long before the final whistle. The referee blew for full time and Downpatrick were through to the next stage of the Irish Cup.
This match was sponsored by Justine’s Restaurant.