NW FOOTBALL: Ardmore complete treble after Matt Morrison Junior Cup success

The Ardmore team who defeated Heights in the final of the Matt Morrison North West Junior Cup at Limavady Showgrounds on Friday night. INLV2016-232KDR
The Ardmore team who defeated Heights in the final of the Matt Morrison North West Junior Cup at Limavady Showgrounds on Friday night. INLV2016-232KDR

Ardmore completed a memorable treble after easily seeing off Heights 5-2, to secure the Matt Morrison North West Junior Cup, at Limavady Showgrounds, on Friday night.

Goals from Ryan Browne, Calvin McCallion, Darren Crossan, Darren Cassidy and an unfortunate own goal from Stephen Wall saw Damien McGee’s side deservedly bring the cup back to the McCourt’s for the celebrations.

In fact ex-Derry City man Cassidy showed his class throughout and in truth was the difference.

The Coleraine men suffered a big blow leading up to the final when both their goalkeepers were ruled out through injury.

Damien Hollinger was the man who went between the sticks and he can hold his head high, as he had a very good game for someone who doesn’t normally dawn the goalkeeping gloves.

Ardmore created the first opening early on but McCallion’s dipping strike from 20 yards, came back off the post.

The deadlock was broken minutes later when Cassidy’s left wing centre found defender Browne and he made no mistake side footing home from close range.

Heights levelled things on 30 minutes when a hooked ball into the Ardmore box by Aaron Bones found Johnny Gaile at the back post and he squared for Decky McGahon to rifle home past Ardmore goalkeeper John Joe McGilloway.

Ardmore regained the lead around the half hour mark after more good play by Cassidy ended with his left wing cross found an in-rushing Crossan and he showed great composure to fire past Hollinger.

Right on the stroke of half-time Ardmore added a third as man of the match Cassidy saw another delivery cause problems in the Heights box and the unlucky Stephen Wall could only divert the ball into his own net.

The Coleraine men pulled one back on 55 minutes when a goalkeeping error by McGilloway saw Kurt Wilson race in and blast home the loose ball, after the keeper had dropped Aaron Bones’ initial free-kick.

On the hour mark Cassidy broke through and beat the offside trap and although Hollinger denied him, the ball fell perfectly for the ex-Institute man, who calmly chipped the ball into the net over the back tracking net-minder.

That goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Heights and McCallion went close to scoring but Hollinger made a super stop to deny Ardmore’s leading marksman.

Heights went close to pulling one back on 80 minutes when Zack McGonigle broke clear but a super last ditch block by Browne kept out a certain goal and McGahon fired the loose ball wide.

The scoring was complete late on when Ardmore caught Heights on the break, as the Coleraine men were pushing forward trying to get back into the final.

Some neat play by Cassidy and McCallion ended with the club’s leading goalscorer firing home his 51st goal of an incredible season and ended Damien McGee’s side near perfect campaign.

It was a great cup final for the neutral and although Ardmore deserved the cup success the scoreline slightly flattered them, as the Heights never gave up.