Killough defeat Dunloy in nail-biting Junior Cup clash

Killough defeat Dunloy in nail-biting Junior Cup clash

24 November 2021

KILLOUGH advanced into the last 32 of the Junior Cup after a back and forth contest with Dunloy Reserves eventually swung back in the local side’s favour.

An action packed match up between the teams included a saved penalty and three goals in the final ten minutes of the game.

Killough began strongly, showing their desire to win the ball and it wasn’t long before the scoring was opened. 

After just three minutes on the clock a Jack McLoughlin corner was met by team-mate and man of the match Kevin Groves, who put the green and yellows in front. 

The windy and murky conditions made it difficult for both sides to get a real foothold on the match, although Dunloy were presented with a golden opportunity to draw level after a hand ball in the area from Killough’s Ruairi Sharvin resulted in a penalty being awarded.

Killough ‘keeper James Crangle had other ideas as his diving save pushed the ball on to the post and away from danger.

As the first half drew to a close, Dunloy finally got onto the scoresheet from the most unlikely of sources after their goalkeeper’s free kick caused confusion in the Killough defence, coupled with an unfortunate slip from Crangle, to end up in the back of the net.

As the second half began, Killough had clearly regrouped and not let the sucker-punch of conceding before the interval deter them.

A well-worked move down the right hand side resulted in Lee Murphy playing a sumptuous ball into Daniel Taggart, who converted to put the home side ahead.

Declan Burns and Sean Og Burns put in notable shifts for Killough, keeping the opposition at bay and creating chances. Groves also continued to impress at both sides of the field, tackling well from the centre back position as well as being an aerial threat from attacking corners.

With 20 minutes left, another superb delivery from a McLaughlin corner was met by captain Gareth George, who put Killough two in front.

Killough were dealt a blow when Cillian Burns suffered an injury and had to exit the pitch two minutes later. He was replaced with the lively Connor Kelly, who had the remainder of the match to stamp his authority on the contest.

Disaster struck for Killough when Dunloy found the net twice in three minutes to bring the tie level, with the match seemingly ready to go to extra-time.

Following a fast paced counter-attack down the right hand side, a wonderful solo effort was capped off with McLaughlin firing the ball into the roof of the Dunloy net, putting his side in front with minutes to go.

Dunloy pushed for the equaliser, but it wasn’t to be after another fast break from Killough saw substitute Kelly fouled just outside the box for a free-kick.

Kelly duly stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom corner to put the result beyond doubt and send his Killough side into the next round.