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Killyleagh KO Ardglass In Intermediate Cup 4th Round
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Killyleagh 5  Ardglass  4

THE first real effort at goal which just flew over the bar came from Killyleagh Niall Walsh who was definitely fired up for this game after his side’s narrow defeat to Kilmore last week. As both teams settled, Ardglass came out on the attack. It was a cautious start for both teams who did not want to concede an early goal. There were a number of prodding forays by Dale Davidson marked closely by Ardglass left back James Telford.

Chris Deegan was playing as sweeper in the central back position and was reading the attacks well. Killyleagh’s Ryan Boyle had an early flash of brilliance beating the Ardglass back line  but was just foiled by stand in keeper Stephen Moore. Five Ardglass regular players were off celebrating in a 21st birthday party leaving manager Leo Kearney’s team  deplenished.

But Killyleagh determination opened up the scoring with a neat cross from the right by Dale Davidson which was expertly tapped into the Ardglass goal past Stephen Moore by Niall Walsh.

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THE first real effort at goal which just flew over the bar came from Killyleagh Niall Walsh who was definitely fired up for this game after his side’s narrow defeat to Kilmore last week.
Although Ardglass fought back it was Killyleagh who put the foot to the pedal and threatened Ardglass with Lee Morrison, Paul Mannus and Dale Davidson passing well and pressing for a second. Niall Walsh unleashed an excellent cross which Morison just headed past the post.

As Ardglass pressed forward, Stephen Deegan was tripped and his shot from 40 yards was not close enough as it dipped just over the top bar. Ardglass a minute later earned another corner from the same spot and again the shot went high over the target.

As Ardglass pushed forward in the 30th minute, Killyeagh midfielder Kevin Savage brought down Ardglass forward Richard Kerr. Chris Deegan this time made sure cracking the ball into the Killyleagh net from over 30 yards out beating McKenna stunning Killyleagh.

Killyleagh went straight back into attack and Ardglass became certainly more animated waking from a slumber. The game rose to a higher level. Ardglass earned another foul on the same spot and Stephen Deegan took the shot but lifted it just over the bar.

In the 38th minute Niall Walsh scored again from a business-like cross from Lee Morrison on the right wing which found Walsh’s boot first timing it low to the right again beating keeper Moore.

It was a game that could have gone either way but Killyleagh did have more of the scoring opportunities. Davidson at one point rose for the ball and headed it neatly down to Niall Walsh’s feet and he almost got his hat-trick but the ball was inches the wrong side of the post. Again Killyleagh tried the same move  as the second half started but defender James Telford managed to block Walsh’s effort.

Then Lee Morrison made a terrific strong run down the right and keeping his feet as he stumbled to cross the ball to Paul Mannus who buried into the back of the Ardglass net in the 57th minute.

Killyeagh concentration wavered two minutes later when Ardglass sub Gareth Telford sent in a lovely corner ball to Stephen Deegan who rose and crisply nodded it into the right of the Killyleagh goal. Suddenly a draw was on the cards if Ardglass scored again.  Killyleagh were looking wobbly, temporarily. It was all to play for.

Ardglass striker Chris Taggart was having a quiet game and was brought down in one attack. Stephen Deegan took the free kick from 30 yards and sent it wide. Ardglass were mounting a strong fight back  and for a team with a backlog  of  of league games to play, and interest in the Clarence Cup, it was stubborn pride that drove Ardgalss on trying to avoid defeat.

But Lee Morrison in the 67th minute took an excellent goal finding plenty of space in the box. Killyeagh had their tails up and wanted to finish off Ardglass. Morrison sent in an excellent cross to Ryan Boyle who headed just past the bar.

Then the coffin nail for Ardglass came in the 78th minute when Davidson beat two defenders and found the right section of the goal wide open. Even at 4-2 Ardglass were still fighting back. There was a moment of drama as keeper McKenna ran out to clear a ball after a Chris Taggart challenge and his clearance was short being picked up by Stephen Deegan who lashed the ball at the Killyleagh goal and watched his long range effort just soar over the post.

Then sub Ian Mannus nailed Ardglass again with an easy goal in the 75th minute, and in the 83rd, never-say-die Chris Taggart fought his way through the Killyeagh back wall and passed back to sub John Mullan for a well taken goal.

Then is the dying embers of the game, Ardglass pulled another goal back when Ardglass forward Richard Kerr crossed low to Gareth Kearney moving in from the the left wing but defender John Kennedy caught it and gave away an own goal.

Throughout, the Killyleagh back line of Kennedy, Heron, Nelson and Savage  did enough to keep Ardglass at bay.

The final score with Killyeagh as winners in a match of nine goals was a fair reflection of the game. Ardglass were under strength, and without their regular keeper Armstrong were definitely at a disadvantage. Bu their fighting grit has to be admired as the bowed out of the Intermediate Cup  4th Round. Killyleagh manager Dee Heron will be delighted that his young team are scoring well and coming together. Again, for Ardglass, there were missed opportunities, and shooting off target, and had they had a full team, it would have been a different, closer and an equally interesting encounter.

Killyleagh YC: Michael McKenna, Jordan Kennedy, Jason Heron, Darren Nelson, Kevin Savage, Ryan Boyle, Niall Walsh, Barry Walsh, Paul Mannus, Dale Davidson, Lee Morrison, Subs: Kieran Sullivan, Ian Mannus, Brian Strain.

Ardglass FC: Stephen Moore, James Telford, Barry Kearney, Chris Deegan, Stephen Rooney, Sean Paul Halpen, Stephen Deegan, Karl Johnston, Chris Taggart,  Richard Kerr, John Mullan. Subs: Daniel Fleming, Gareth Telford, Stephen Hughes.