Newry City Reserves narrowly failed in their bid to make the final of the Wilmor Johnston cup loosing on penalty kicks to Armagh City Reserves at the Showgrounds in Saturday’s semi final. Fielding a team which finished with seven under 18s, which owes much to Thomas King’s guidance, Gary Redpath’s side twice held the lead but could not hold onto the advantage losing out in the dreaded penalty shoot out.
In an exciting game Newry took the lead in the first half through Sean Mooney who ran onto a Lee Courtney pass before lobbing the Armagh keeper. Playing with a strong breeze Newry conceded the equalizer in the 40th minute having failed to deal with a corner kick and those present would have expected Armagh to kick on in the 2nd half with the wind at their back. And although Armagh had more possession in the 2nd half Newry defended stoutly with the home goal rarely threatened.
With the scores remaining 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes Newry started extra time the stronger and again went ahead in the first period when Neil Barr beat the offside trap to run onto a Stefan Martin pass before hitting the top corner of the Armagh net to put Newry 2-1 up. Unfortunately the home side couldn’t hold out Armagh bagging the equalizer with seven minutes to play.
Newry pushed forward in the remaining minutes and were unfortunate not to secure the win with Cian Feehan denied by the Armagh keeper when well placed and then twice Armagh defenders cleared from the goal line, first denying Barr and then Josh Cargin. With neither side able to grab a winner the match was decided on penalty kicks, the tie won by Armagh’s keeper who saved three Newry spot kicks.
Newry City Reserves: Ruddy, King, Lundy, A.Martin, Courtney, Maguire, S.Martin, Edgar, Mooney, Barr, Finn. Subs : Feehan, Campbell, Cargin, Smyth, Hadden.