Thu 09 May 7.45pm
Crumlin Star (n)
IFA Intermediate Cup Final
NAFL Division 2B
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Queen’s Colts 2 Greenisland IIs 2
Colts fight back twice to remain unbeaten.
Greenisland were the visitors to the dub this week and started the game on the front foot. Another new-look Queen’s back four came under early attack on the first really wintery Saturday of the season. Declan McGinn at right back had his hands full with the visitors’ lively left winger but produced several great defensive interventions and cover tackles.
Queens worked their way into the game and began passing the ball with more effect as the half progressed. Good inter-play between Boyd and Enright released McCullough down the left and he was inches wide with a cross-shot. Then against the run of play a mix-up in the home defence allowed Greenisland to go in front. The reaction from the home team was impressive. Now playing the ball on the ground with real purpose the Students carved of a couple of opportunities and dominated the match up to the half-time interval.
After the break Queens gradually took control of the game and a much deserved equaliser arrived when Rennie’s glorious outside of the foot inside pass left Morgan one-on-one with the Greenisland and keeper he deftly slipped the ball into the lower corner of the net.
Queens then had what appeared to be an obvious penalty turned down by the referee when McCullough was clearly in the box. Three more crude tackles occurred before the ref finally booked a Greenisland player. Then to add insult to injury the students went behind when a rare Greenisland attack ended in the home team conceding a penalty. No complaints with the decision but a more obvious one was missed at the other end by the referee minutes earlier.
The students refused to accept defeat and pressed hard for an equaliser. Winger Kyle McCullough in particular was the subject of some rough treatment and several of his mazy runs resulted in free kick s for Queens. From one of these set pieces Hugh Maguire floated a majestic delivery into the box and substitute White glanced a header high into the roof of the visitors’ net for a thoroughly deserved equaliser. Three yellow cards were distributed to Greenisland players as robust turned to nasty in the closing stages. Queens tried hard for a winner and a couple of shots were cleared off the line in goalmouth flurries following corners. Towards the end the Greenisland left back was shown a second yellow for another crude kick at McCullough. The game ended with an understandably unhappy home manager voicing his opinion on some overly rough tackles to his opposite number.
So The Colts remain unbeaten, comfortably in mid-table and with four games in hand on most of the other teams in their division. Pleasing again yesterday was the character of the youngsters in the face adversity and the physical challenge. Some of the many injured players are due back in the coming weeks but making the Saturday squad at the moment is an achievement in itself with this talented group . Next up for The Colts are trips to Finaghy and Donaghadee.
Scorers: Morgan and White
MoTM: McCullough – tormented the visitors defence the whole afternoon.