Queen’s University 11s 4 Finaghy F.C 3 (a.e.t)

Super sub Divine strikes deep into injury time to send Queen’s into the quarter finals of the Cochrane & Corry Cup.

The last time the two clubs met was back in October for a league fixture in which Finaghy ran out comfortable winners, following a rather abject performance from Queen’s, who were second best from the onset. However, this cup match, which had a reward of a place in the quarter finals for the winner proved to be by far the best football match any team in 2B could’ve been involved in.

Despite the cold and wintry weather conditions, as well as a pitch that was heavy as a result of the persistent rain fall during the week, both teams played some very attractive and attacking football, and credit must be given to the management of both sides.

The first real chance of the game fell to the home side, with Mulholland, still playing to regain fitness looking sharper, alongside McDermott who was looking to impress and return to his lethal best following a spell on the sidelines. After neat interplay between Murphy and Andrews on the right, Mulholland sent an effort on goal that was easily saved by the away custodian. On the other end, the towering number 9 for Finaghy was proving to be a handful for Boyd and Mcillwaine; cleverly holding the ball up and bringing his counterparts into play with ease. He rose highest to send a looping header over McCrea’s bar following a corner, although in all, the back 4 dealt with the attacking threat of the away side very well. Abladey and Murphy both had efforts on goal blocked by retreating defenders, whilst Finaghy also continued to threaten. However, a quite evenly contested first half came to an end without any goals for either side.

The second period started much like the first, with the home side pressing with intent and taking the game to their very well organized opponents. Queen’s thought they’d taken the lead when a header from McDermott following a brilliant cross from Andrews was quite impressively clawed out with a firm hand by Finaghy’s skipper in goal. The pressure on the away side was mounting as Queen’s went in search of a goal. However, it was the away side who took the lead when a Finaghy attacker was left free in the box to send a deflected effort past McCrea halfway through the second half. This kicked the home side into life and 10 minutes later equalised, when the impressive McDermott, now captaining the side following Boyd’s retirement with injury flicked on a McCrea kick that sent Mulholland through on goal to send a cool finish past the onrushing goalie. The game was now anyone’s to win as both teams went in search of what would prove to be the winner, and it was Ogilvie’s troops who went ahead. Following a corner for the away side, the ball fell to Mcillwaine on the edge of the box. With Abladey in close proximity, he left the ball to the winger who released the ball to Murphy on the halfway line, who in turn sent a through ball into the path of Mulholland who calmly rounded the goalie and scored what was indeed a very impressive goal. The home side now had 5 minutes to see out the game; however Finaghy managed to level proceedings to send the contest into extra time. McCrea did brilliantly to save a goal bound header following a corner, and in an attempt to clear the loose ball, Abladey unluckily scored an own goal following a push from an opposition attacker that went unnoticed.

That was to prove to be the final action of the first 90 minutes as the referee blew his whistle to end what was bubbling up to be a real cliff-hanger of a game. Debutant Garcia Rifà, brought onto replace Homan almost sent Queen’s ahead when he released a great effort from the edge of the box that brought yet another stupendous save from Finaghy’s skipper in the first half of extra time. The away side continued to respond and got their due rewards when a long ball from their keeper eluded the leap of Mcillwaine, allowing Finaghy’s speedy forward to run through on goal and back heel a clever finish into the net after McCrea’s first save fell back to him. It was now rolls reversed as Finaghy had just over 10 minutes to see out the game. And in a quite breath-taking 10 minutes, Ogilvie’s men, led by the inspired McDermott who was now imposing himself on the game turned the contest around. Following neat interplay on the right, Andrews sent a looping cross into the box which was unconvincingly attacked by the away goalie who conspired to drop the ball. The ever alert Mcdermott was then on hand to send a cool finish into the net to level proceedings. Both teams now sensed the next goal would win the context with only a few minutes left and it was clear neither side had any intentions of taking the game to penalties. Following an attack by the away side that was intercepted by the excellent Nutman, the ball fell to Andrews who sent another looping cross into the box. And much like the events leading up to McDermott’s goal, Finaghy’s skipper failed to claim the cross. Up stepped substitute Divine who was on hand to knock the ball in from close range to send the home side and spectators into jubilant scenes of celebration. The referee blew his whistle to end the contest shortly after the restart to send Ogilvie and his troops into the quarter finals of a competition they excelled in last season, reaching the semi-finals.

This was an impressive win by Ogilvie’s young side who have remain unbeaten in the month of November, and intend to maintain a winning run that continues to send a message to the league of the quality within this young and talented side.

Next Game: TBC

Queen’s: McCrea, Nutman, Boyd, Mcillwaine, Andrews, O’Reilly, Homan, Murphy, Abladey, McDermott, Mulholland

Substitutes: Coulter, Divine, Garcia Rifà,

Goal Scorers: Mulholland (x2), Mcdermott (a.e.t), Divine (a.e.t)