Wednesday 20 September 2017 01:50:23 PM

Kilmore Beat Killyleagh In Border Cup Quarter Final Clash
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NAFL

Border Regiment Cup Quarter Final

Kilmore Rec 4  Killyleagh YC 3

THIS  match was never going to be a dull affair. The local derby between two teams with proud histories and struggling to prove their prowess was destined to be memorable. And it was with seven goals and two red cards.

With Downpatrick FC still to play 1st Bangor, their match being postponed due to heavy rain, and  Albert Foundary looking on form after their 6-4 win over St Patrick’s YM, and Crumlin Star’s 4-2 win over Mossley, there is still much to look forward towards the Border Cup semi-final and a final with at least one local team pressing for the honours… and perhaps, even a local derby cup tie!

Owen Curran on the ball for Kilmore is challenged by Killyleagh's Adam McDonnell.

Owen Curran on the ball for Kilmore is challenged by Killyleagh’s Adam McDonnell.

Both Kilmore Rec and Killyleagh YC started off tentatively not wishing to get caught out with a early goal. Philly Reaynor was the first to make a shot at goals earning a corner then it was Killyleagh’s Stephen Kennedy who returned with a ball over the bar.

It as then game on! Kilmore showed more signs of attacking the visitors to Robert Adam’s Park but Killyleagh were quick enough on the rebound and Ryan Montgomery was unlucky as Kilmore keeper Mark Armstrong blocked the shot. Then more drama ensued as Kilmore’s Owen Curran made a great break through the middle and struck the ball wrong side of the post. Both teams were in attacking mode. Traynor was certainly finding openings on the left and pressing forward and Kilmore were also feeding in some excellent long balls to their forwards all too aware of the offside trap.

But first blood came from Killyleagh as Ryan Montgomery make a strong run through taking on the defenders and Armstrong to shoot to the right hand corner to open the scoring in the 14th minute.

Three minutes later Kilmore half back Aaron McGarry let fly with a good volley but it struck the top post, keeper Alistair Coburn  already beat.

The clash between Kilmore and Killyleagh was close cut.

The clash between Kilmore and Killyleagh was close cut.

But Kilmore exerted the pressure making a number of attacks and prominent in these was Curran who make darting breaks on the right. But just when things were looking rosier for the home side, defender Joe Murphy was dispossessed and Montgomery romped to the Kilmore goal putting the visitors two ahead in the 23rd minute. Kilmore had their work cut out now and Killyleagh were playing confidently with their defenders certainly on their toes.

But Kilmore kept their heads and soon were putting Killyleagh under pressure again. A free kick 30 yards following a corner  taken by saw Curran just send the ball over the bar.  But is was in the 32nd minute that Traynor pulled a goal back when he got possession in the box, made a sharp turn and popped the ball into the net.

This goal lifted Kilmore who stepped up the pressure again but Killyleagh were still capable of making quick breaks with Kennedy, McDonnell and Neale. On one break, Killyleagh’s Kennedy crossed to Neale from the right but the shot was sliced past the goal under pressure – a let off for Kilmore.

Kilmore’s Stephen Douglas was always dangerous taking free kicks within striking distance of goal and on one occasion send a well placed long shot to the back post which was cleared by keeper Alistair Coburn.

At half-time, Kilmore knew they had work to do in this fairly evenly balanced match. The playing conditions were difficult following the heavy rain. Traynor from the whistle went straight at Killyleagh making a bold statement statement that Kilmore were hungry for goals and the win. He was feeding the ball well around the pitch and on one occasion passed to McGarry who blasted over the bar.

Niall McCarthy playing the the central forward position received a warning for a heavy challenge on Killyleagh’s captain Darren McConnell. Then as the teams settled it was Killyleagh who came back on attack with Kennedy passing to Adam McDonnell who struck on target but the shot was blocked by keeper Armstrong.

Killyleagh were on the attack again and Adam Neale crossed to midfielder Hugh Ross who sent his shot wide of target. Then it as Kilmore turn as their forwards constantly pressed for the crucial equaliser.

KIlmore's Johnny Cheevers hits the bar with a header.

KIlmore’s Johnny Cheevers hits the bar with a header.

Kilmore were playing well despite players Sean Bell and Michael McKenna not available to play and Peter Telford and Owen Boyd both injured.

Pressure was mounting on Killyleagh and Traynor was felled by Darren McConnell. Douglas took the free kick which produced a corner keeping Killyleagh under psychological pressure.

Then after  the huge effort by Kilmore, Traynor crossed to Johnny Cheevers in the box 18 minutes into the half and he nailed the ball to the back of the Killyleagh net. All square at 2-2.

Kilmore then substituted defender Joe Murphy for Peter Casey to strengthen the back line. Then comeback kids Kilmore started to press Killyleagh. Owen Curran made a great run into the Killyleagh box but was pushed off the ball by full back Murray resulting in a penalty and a red card for the defender. Traynor made no mistake and sent the ball past Coburn for Kilmore to go into the lead 3-2.

At this point Killyleagh seemed to lose a bit of their fire and self-belief and could have been down and out and certainly for a spell were not pressing, then in the 77th minute, Killyleagh sub Darryl Heaney rose up in the Kilmore box to head the ball for the equaliser adding to the pure drama of the match.

But one minute later Kilmore struck back with another attack and this led to an own goal by Killyleagh defender Walsh. Traynor now seemed to be reinvigorated seeming to have boundless supplies of energy and kept the Killyleagh defenders under the cosh.

Then in the dying embers of the match, Niall McCarthy received a red card for a heavy tackle on McDonnell. Killyleagh regrouped and were pressing at the end of the match to recover but the whistle finally beat them.

This match was evenly matched overall, and it was the cruel fate of the own gaol by Killyleagh  that produced a winner match without going into extra time.

The fans at this well-attended local derby certainly got a display of good football, thrills and spills, and… and a seven-goal feast.

Kilmore Rec: Mark Armstrong, Stephen Douglas, Joe Murphy, Mark Miskelly, Johnny Cheevers, Matthew Hardy, Aaron McGarry, Joe McKinney, Niall McCarthy, Philip Traynor (c), Owen Curran. Subs: Peter Casey, Michael McGrady, James Casement.

Killyleagh YC: Alistair Coburn, Jordan Kennedy, Jonny Murray, Gary Murray, Niall Walsh, Hugh Ross, Ryan Montgomery, Darren McConnell, Adam Neale, Adam McDonnell, Stephen Kennedy. Subs: Dale Davidson, Andrew Carberry and Daryl Heaney.