This was a unique day, three teams already relegated and two of six other teams, including, possibly, Queen’s, would join them when the dust settled. Having fielded some well below strength sides in recent weeks, thankfully we had a full strength line up for what was probably the most important game in the Club’s history.
The opening exchanges were fairly even until Queen’s were awarded a penalty after just 12 minutes. Matt Hughes’s mazy dribble ended with a foul in the box and Patrick Stuart gave home keeper Hassan, no chance from the spot. Ten minutes later Hughes again beat a number of opponents and shot low into the far corner.
Queen’s dominated the second period and should have made the game safe when Hughes’ cross found Stuart but his powerful header flew narrowly wide of the post. Stuart then twice, within a few minutes, beat the offside trap and ran through unopposed but on each occasion shot wide with only Hassan to beat. A third goal finally arrived when Stuart headed the ball into the path of Lavery who had a tap in at the far post. In the dying moments, Hughes scored Queen’s fourth goal with a great 25 yarder into the roof of the net and with the last kick of the game Coagh got a consolation goal from the penalty spot.
Given the circumstances this was an excellent performance on a very tense afternoon for a number of clubs. In the end Glebe and Dollingstown joined Coagh, Wakehurst and Portstewart in losing their place in the NIFL.
We are delighted to retain our membership of the League for next season and we send our best wishes to the five relegated teams. We also send congratulations to Limavady on winning the League and to PSNI on their promotion to the Championship.
So ends another season. The challenge will be great again next season with just 12 teams in what will be a very competitive league.