Ballyure pay penalty against Rathcoole

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There was no final fanfare for Ballynure Old Boys, who brought down the curtain on a trophyless season with another cup semi-final defeat.

During the past few weeks they have lost out narrowly to Brantwood in the semi-finals of the Crawford and McReynolds Cups, and this time it was Rathcoole who triumphed in the O’Gorman Cup.

With the scores tied 1-1 at the end of extra-time at Allen Park, it was Rathcoole who held their nerve to win the penalty shootout 4-2.

Gary Burns’ lads were on top during the first half, but had only a Mark Leckey strike from a David Higgins corner to show for their supremacy.

Ronnie Burns saw his effort rebound off the bar, while David Higgins missed a sitter after gathering a mis-hit clearance by the keeper.

Approaching the interval Rathcoole began to sparkle and equalised with a header from a corner.

A goalless second half saw Ballynure’s Jonny Robinson sent off for a second bookable offence.

Robert Houston and Mark Leckey were the ‘Nure marksmen when it came to spot-kicks while Ryan Stewart made one save as Rathcoole won 4-2.

“We should have been two up at the interval, but Rathcoole were superior in the second half,” conceded OB chairman, Michael Graham.

“With Andy Forsythe, Mark Curlett, Willie Lee, Simon Gibson and Mark Moore all missing, manager Gary Burns had to reshuffle his resources.”

Ballynure Old Boys: Stewart; Penny, Robinson, G Curlett, McGreevy; McIlroy, Duff, Leckey, D Higgins; R Higgins, Burns. Subs: Officer, Houston, Gray, McFall.