Bellurgan United advanced to the quarter-finals of the Tully Bookmakers Cup when they beat Trim Celtic 2-1 after extra-time on a very heavy playing surface on Sunday morning.
A result and performance which delighted their manager Alex Bothwell, Bellurgan got off to a great on five minutes when Darryn Gaynor, having been put through on goal by Daniel O’Connor, was fouled by the Trim goalkeeper who was lucky not to receive a straight red card for his indiscretion. Ciaran Sheelan stepped up to calmly dispatch the spot kick with confidence.
Trim responded and they threw everything at the visitors defence but they were met by some outstanding performances from Ciaran Casey and Keith Finnegan.
The home side continued to push, though, and they eventually breached the visitors well organised defence on 40 minutes when Damien Clarke made it 1-1.
The second-half saw both teams cancel each other out with Bellurgan’s best efforts coming from a Sheelan effort, after good work from Owen Traynor, and a powerful header from Casey that was well saved after the defender had got on the end of a corner kick.
The game went into extra time and five minutes into the first period the deadlock was broken. Again Sheelan was heavily involved as he set up Gaynor to grab the crucial winning goal with a calm finish.
Having secured the lead, some resolute defending ensured Bellurgan held onto their win despite finishing the game with ten men after Jason Brennan was harshly sent off for a second yellow card.
BELLURGAN UNITED: Robert Arthur, Jason Brennan, Paul Savage (Jonathan Winters), Ciaran Casey (Daniel Rice), Keith Finnegan, Daniel O’Connor, Ray Finnegan (Shane Finnegan), Owen Traynor, Ciaran Rogan, Ciaran Sheelan, Darryn Gaynor.