Resilient ’Stute get just deserts in characterful Craig cup coup

Institute striker Garbhan Friel tangles with Desertmartin keeper David Nelson at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday. INLS3915-125KM
Institute striker Garbhan Friel tangles with Desertmartin keeper David Nelson at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday. INLS3915-125KM

Robbie Hume bagged a second half hat-trick to dispatch the visitors from over the mountain at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Desertmartin crashed out of the Craig Memorial Cup after suffering a 4 1 defeat, despite the Faughansiders having been reduced to 10 men when Jamie Dunn received a second yellow for a tackle from behind on the 34th minute.

He’d already been booked for talking back to the ref.

Up until that point the seventeen-year-old had been a real positive for the home side and with gaffer Kevin Deery also dismissed for protesting John Deighan’s decision and the score still 0 - 0, there was a collective knitting of brows on the ’Stute bench and around the stands. Missing Dunn’s industry, ’Stute did little to worry their junior opposition until the 40 minute mark when Dean Curry drove purposefully into the Desertmartin box only to be manhandled to the ground.

Mr Deighan duly pointed to the penalty spot and Garbhan Friel coolly knocked the ball into the corner of the net to put the home side 1 up. However, just as the tea, oranges and Paddy McLaughlin’s ‘just keep it going lads’ half-time team talk were being prepared, the South Londonderry side picked ’Stute’s pocket on the stroke of half-time. In a rare sally into the Institute half Desertmartin frontman Mark Scott broke free in the box before being fouled by ’Stute centre-half Mark Scoltock. Andrew Kelso restored parity from the spot and the sides trotted in level.

’Stute could have come out feeling sorry for themselves after having suffered the triple whammy loss of the energetic Dunn, their rudder Deery and their 1 - 0 lead but they showed no signs of it after the break.

On the contrary the ten men pulled up their socks and were encamped in the Desertmartin half for much of the second period. But despite their dominance the ’Stute attacking trio of McGinty, Hume and Friel were remiss in several of their attempts to trouble David Nelson in the Desertmartin goal. With ’Stute foreheads beginning to wrinkle as the clock ticked down there was a huge sigh of relief when Dean Curry played in Hume who made no mistake in slotting home in the bottom corner on 77minutes. The Desertmartin defence were now struggling to cope and after Aaron Harkin was toppled in the box Hume buried the third penalty of the match to give the Faughansiders a 3 1 lead on 80 minutes. The returning hero added the coup de grâce four minutes later as a knackered Desertmartin side fairly feel apart. Sprinting clear of the Desertmartin defence he calmly circumnavigated Nelson and knocked the ball into an empty net to round off an impressive man of the match performance.

Institute: Marty Gallagher, Jack King, Dean Curry, Mark Scoltock, Steven O’Donnell, Aidan McCauley, Ciaran Harkin, Shane McGinty, Robbie Hume, Garbhan Friel, Jamie Dunn (sent off 34mins). Subs: Gareth Brown for Harkin (85 mins), Jordan Armstrong for Friel (58mins), Aaron Harkin for Jack King (71 mins).

Desertmartin: David Nelson, Philip Caulfield, Stefan Hogshaw, Stephen Milligan, Mark Drennan, Bill Lees, Lee smyth, John Henry, Andrew Kelso, Mark Scott, Matthew Kempton. Subs: Mark Shields for Philip Caulfield (71 mins), David Gibson for Andrew Kelso (76 mins), William Watson for Bill Lees (84 minutes).