Lisahally deservedly retained the City Cup, as they showed a never say die attitude on Friday night, to see off favourites Ardmore, after a penalty shoot-out.
Brian Devine’s side pegged favourites Ardmore back twice and took them all the way to penalties, before super sub Jarlath Canning was the man they thanked, as it was his spot-kick in the shoot-out to secure a 3-1 win and bring the trophy back to Lisahally.
The cup success means boss Brian Devine is ahead of schedule in terms of trophies, as he already conceded that he’s planning for next season.
The final never really sparked into life until after the half-time break, as a disappointing first half saw the sides go in at the interval with the deadlock still not broken and although Darren Crossan netted twice to give Damien McGee’s side the lead on two occasions, goals from Ciaran Toland and Nathan McNerlin cancelled the brace out.
Ardmore took the lead on 46 minutes thanks to Crossan’s drive, which flew past Lisahally goalkeeper Joe Robertson.
This was only a set-back for the cup holders who quickly levelled things thanks to Toland’s back post volley, which gave Ardmore goalkeeper John Joe McGilloway no chance.
Lisahally should have taken the lead on 54 minutes but when it looked easier to score midfielder Sean Harkin failed to hit the target and somehow fired wide.
Despite looking the more likely to score Lisahally fell behind for a second time in sublime style when the impressive Crossan, in outstanding fashion his strike on the half-volley, just like his first goal, gave Robertson no chance
With clear cut opportunities few and far between the men from McCourt’s probably were thinking they had done it, but credit where credit’s due Lisahally for a second time drew level.
This time Aidy O’Kane’s corner found McNerlin and the big defender’s effort found the back of the net.
The late equaliser would have been hard to take but moments later Ardmore’s night got even worse when Ryan Brown was shown a straight red card on 81 minutes, following a lunge at striker Sean Roddy
In the closing stages Ardmore had a good claim for a penalty, when Crossan was brought down inside the box, but the referee waved play-on.
In extra-time former Finn Harps and Coleraine man Marc Mukendi came off the bench for Lisahally and he nearly won it, but his header was saved by McGilloway, after Sandy Gillespie had picked him out with an inch perfect cross.
Neither side felt comfortable during the dreaded penalties, but Canning was Lisahally’s match winner firing home the crucial spot-kick, to secure them a 3-1 victory in the shoot-out.
Ardmore: John-Joe McGilloway, Ryan Brown, Conor Brown, Damien Campbell, Darren Cassidy, Peter McLaughlin, Luke McCloskey, Jack King, Johnny Hume, Darren Crossan, Calvin McCallion. Subs: Shea O’Kane, Chris Mansfield, Gavin Doherty, Tom Carlin.
Lisahally: Joe Robertson, Kieran McGlinchey, Ciaran Toland, Nathan McNerlin, Seamus Ferry, Mark Duffy, Aidy O’Kane, Sandy Gillespie, Sean Harkin, Sean Roddy, Adam Molineux. Subs: Jarlath Canning, Marc Mukendi, Ronan Tracey, Shan Whoriskey.