FOOTBALL: Ballynure exit Crawford Cup at hands of Newtowne

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The clash of the Burns brothers, Gary and Ronnie, failed to materialise when Ballynure Old Boys were knocked out of the Crawford Cup by Newtowne.

If Gary’s lads had won this one they would have had to go head-to-head with Ronnie’s Ballyclare Comrades Reserves side in round three, but the 1-0 defeat in Limavady ensured that family rivalry was not put to the test.

Reflecting on the defeat by perennial rivals, Newtowne, Burns senior said: “Under the circumstances I can have no complaints for we travelled without the Curlett brothers Gareth and Mark, Robert Houston, Johnny Robinson and Jackie Todd, and then goalkeeper Paul Hughes was forced to retire at half-time. Newtowne are always hard to beat especially on their own patch, so we have to surrender one of the three trophies that we won last season,” he added.

Twice in the first half Hughes complained of dizziness, but in between he pulled off a brilliant low save, as the hosts continued to press forward.

Dan Ellis missed a good scoring chance at the opposite end when he mishit his shot wide after David Higgins had crossed in to the danger area.

In the second half Ballynure resumed with outfield player Aaron Kirkwood in goal and he dealt capably with several long-range efforts.

However, he was eventually beaten by a low rocket into the bottom corner from outside the box and this strike proved to be decisive.

Ballynure were reduced to 10 men when Ellis picked up his second yellow card for dissent, but in an effort to take the tie in to extra-time experienced defenders Mark Leckey and Andy Forsythe were pushed forward but their efforts were in vain.

Forsythe almost got the elusive equaliser when he ran on to a pass from Denver Leckey, but his angled finish skimmed the bar with the keeper beaten.

On Saturday, Ballynure resume their Ballymena Intermediate League programme hoping to cement their pole position at the expense of Brantwood at Mossley.