Hopes of a North West side winning the Irish Junior Cup looks to have come to an end for another season, after Foyle Wanderers lost 3-1 to Tullymore Swifts.
Credit has to be given to the Wanderers volunteers who did a sterling job to ensure the tie went ahead, unfortunately the Belfast men deservedly secured the victory and in truth they would have won by a bigger margin, but for Conor Thornton’s super display.
Despite arriving just 20 minutes before kick-off the Belfast men started the tie on the front foot.
They had two great chances in quick succession to take the lead on seven minutes but David Neeson’s shot was saved by Thornton and Danny McGrillen’s follow-up shot was kept out by the Wanderers net-minder.
Swifts continued to dominate things and McGrillen tested Thornton again, but once again his effort was kept out.
The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes in somewhat fortunate circumstances when Neeson’s cross-cum-shot from the left sailed over Thornton and in off the post.
Despite being on the back foot for long periods of the first half, Wanderers nearly levelled things on 35 minutes but Stephen Dougherty’s super left footed strike looked goal bound, but a diving Swifts goalkeeper Patrick Crawford did well to tip the ball over the bar.
Just before the break Swifts added a second in superb fashion when Damien Fegan’s long range strike flew over Thornton and into the net.
Early in the second half Thornton came to his side’s rescue keeping out James Hetherington’s effort.
The tie was ended on the hour mark when the visitors added a third goal when McGrillen side footed home from close range, after some super play by Neeson had created the clear cut opportunity.
Moments later the woodwork denied the home side a goal when Thomas Wray’s shot, which had Crawford beaten, clipped the crossbar.
Wanderers did score a consolation goal on 85 minutes in somewhat comical circumstances when the ball was lifted into the Swifts six yard box and the unfortunate Joseph Harbinson sliced the ball over Crawford and into his own net.
Foyle Wanderers: Conor Thornton, Simon Campbell, Mark Olphert, Ryan Wilson, Thomas Wray, Ben Thompson, James McCracken, Alex McDonnell, Stephen Dougherty, Michael Allen, Jack McNeill. Subs: Ryan Magee, Mark Ferguson, David Thompson, David Allen.
Tullymore Swifts: Patrick Crawford, Stephen Fegan, Michael May, Joseph Harbinson, David Neeson, Tony Campbell, Joseph May, Ciaran Kerr, James Hetherington, Danny McGrillen, Damien Fegan. Subs: Eamon Kyles, Liam McCann, Kevin Meenan.
Referee: Adam Buchanan (Donemana).