Cup final sorrow for Royal and Prior

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Cup final sorrow for Royal and Prior thumbnailAction from the McCullough Cup final between Royal & Prior, Raphoe, and Banbridge Academy at Lisnagarvey.

JAKE Rowe's two goals helped Banbridge Academy get the better of Royal & Prior, Raphoe, prevailing 2-1 to win the McCullough Cup at Lisnagarvey last Wednesday.

Royal and Prior Raphoe...1
Banbridge Academy...2

Royal & Prior, who had reached the final on two previous occasions, produced a battling display and, with better finishing, could have sent the game into extra-time near the end. The Donegal schoolboys trailed early on but levelled matters before half-time before succumbing to Rowe's decisive goal which was scored in the 62nd minute from his team's seventh penalty-corner.

From Bann's first incursion into opposition territory in the fifth minute they forced the opening set-piece and Rowe sent the ball high into the net for the opening goal. Twelve minutes later, Rowe had another opportunity from a similar situation but, this time he sent the ball wide and he then had an effort well saved by the Royal & Prior keeper Sbusiso Ogwudile, who tipped the ball over the bar.

But within seconds, Raphoe were level after team captain, Alexander Tinney, fired the ball home from the edge of the circle into the corner of the net for a well-taken equaliser. Buoyed by that goal, it was Royal & Prior who started the second-half stronger and Luke Witherow sent a snap-shot narrowly past the far post in the 38th minute.

They then had a let-off when Rowe's penalty-corner drag flick crashed off the crossbar in the 52nd minute and then, 60 seconds later, he sent the ball wide from another set-piece. In the 55th minute, Academy defender Kyle Marshall ran half the length of the pitch and sent a backhand shot narrowly wide after he had played a swift one-two.

With 12 minutes left, Banbridge won their sixth penalty-corner but, on this occasion, Rowe's effort was well saved and Royal & Prior must have sensed an opportunity to capitalise when their opponents had a man sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes after a foul.

However, instead it was Banbridge who scored when they were a man down as Rowe found the roof of the net for what proved to be the crucial goal. Bann were briefly reduced to nine players following another yellow card but from the penalty-corner that followed the offence, Witherow's close -range shot was smothered by Academey keeper, Luke Roleston at the base of the post.Royal & Prior finished the game in Banbridge territory but they were unable to find an equaliser although Mark Buchanan went close to forcing extra-time in the dying seconds.

Royal and Prior, Raphoe: Sbusiso JJ, Tom Eaton, Peter Scott, Ben Wallace, James Roulstone, Alexander Tinney, Jordan Devenney, Mark Buchanan, Luke Witherow, Jack Patterson, Jamie McKinney, James Wilson, Jake Watt, Zac West.

Banbridge Academy: Luke Roleston, Edward Rowe, Ryan Simms, James Anderson, Callum Gibson, Mark Barlow, Dylan Cowan, Joel Reid, Kyle Marshall, Philip Campbell, Nathan Liggett, Scott Dale, Jake Rowe, Lewis Bingham, Chris Curry, Harry Lockhart, Charlie Norris.


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