Bellurgan United made their exit from the FAI Junior Cup at Tom Flynn Park on Sunday morning as Alex Bothwell’s side were beaten 5-4 on penalties after a thrilling 4-4 draw with Mid-Sutton Schalke on Sunday morning.
The opening half was dominated by the home side but they failed to take full advantage by missing a number of excellent chances to score.
It took until the 55th minute for Bellurgan to break through; Ciaran Sheelan opening their account with a fine finish.
Within a minutes the sides were level when a mistake by Damien Connor allowed Philip Moynagh to strike a beauty past Robert Arthur.
The visitors took advantage of the homes side’s failure to convert a number of chances and they made it 2-1 when Alan Keogh found the target from close range.
Bellurgan got back on level terms from a powerful Keith Finnegan header after he rose highest in a crowded penalty area.
And it got even better for the home side when, with less than five minutes left on referee Denis Dullaghan’s timepiece, they went 3-2 up.
A brilliant 40-yard pass from Daniel O’Connor found Owen Traynor wide on the right and his first time delivery into the penalty area was brilliantly volleyed home by Sheelan.
That looked to have booked Bellurgan’s passage to the next round but they were stunned as Sutton surged forward and the unmarked Conor Reilly rammed home a soft equaliser to send the game in extra time.
Schalke took advantage of the tie in extra-time when a super free-kick left Robert Arthur with no chance to make it 4-3 but Bellurgan forced penalty kicks when made it 4-4 when Finnegan cushioned the ball down to the feet of Darren Gaynor to sweep the ball home.
In the shoot-out Shane Finnegan missed Bellurgan’s first kick but Ciaran Sheelan, Damien Connor, Patrick Sheelan and Daniel O’Connor all converted.
With Sutton one in front and Bellurgan needing to convert Darren Gaynor saw his effort saved.
Referee Dullaghan ordered a retake after the Schalke goalkeeper advanced off his line too early but Gaynor’s second effort smacked off the crossbar and Bellurgan crashed out, left to rue a missed opportunity.
Bellurgan United: Robert Arthur, Jonathan Winters (Daniel O’Connor), Stephen Malone, Keith Finnegan, Ciaran Casey (Patrick Sheelan), Dean Gaynor, Gavin Long (Owen Traynor), Darren Gaynor, Ciaran Sheelan, Shane Finnegan.