Glenny goal has Ballyvea in cup winter wonderland

Glenny goal has Ballyvea in cup winter wonderland

6 December 2017

WILLIAM Glenny swooped with deadly precision at a bitterly cold Bignian Park on Friday night to send Ballyvea soaring into their fourth Bobby Dalzell final in five years.

However, Mourne Rovers were left to rue a missed second half penalty and a bagful of chances as they went for broke in a bid to get back in contention.

Rovers had to start without joint player manager Connaire Harrison and his ability to score goals was sadly missed on a night when the commitment and quality on display warmed the cockles of the heart.

Both sides went on the offensive from the off and with less than a minute gone Ballyvea top scorer Mark Burden, who played in a wide, withdrawn role, blasted a free kick on the edge of the box wildly over the top.

Seven minutes later former Tollymore United striker Philip Dodds fired an effort straight at Rovers’ Ronan McDowell after workaholic Alan Chambers and Robert Stevenson played him in.

Rovers retaliated immediately in an end-to-end opening, but the wily Ronan Harrison was out of luck after he broke unmarked into the Ballyvea box. With 10 minutes gone Ballyvea failed to deal with a Ciaran O’Hare free kick into the danger zone.

‘Keeper David Fitzpatrick parried out an initial effort from Cormac Poland and Michael Ireland flashed the rebound into the side netting.

Three minutes later at the opposite end Stevenson shot wide after another good Ballyvea move and with 16 minutes played he again shot straight at McDowell after another corner.

Chances created went on holidays for a while, but with 35 minutes gone Jordan McConnell fired over a tantalising cross for Mark McConnell, but he got his angles all wrong and his header ended up in a different post code — the best chance of the game so far.

Ballyvea certainly had their tails up and made the breakthrough in the 37th minute.

Chambers, who ran McAlinden close for the man of the match accolade, broke up a Rovers attack and released a willing Stevenson into the hole in behind right back Redmond Hanna.

Stevenson picked out Doods with a precise pass and he in turn laid the ball off to Glenny, who arrived in the box late, before beating McDowell with a clinical finish.

Rovers went in search of the equaliser and just before the break the exciting Ryan McCullagh got past Jordan McConnell, but shot straight at a relieved Fitzpatrick.

Rovers tweaked their formation at the start of the second half and went for an extremely adventurous 4-2-4 system with Ireland and Ronan Harrison playing down the middle and McCullagh and Ryan O’Hare providing the width.

This almost paid immediate dividends, but with 48 minutes gone McCullagh saw his shot saved by an alert Fitzpatrick. Five minutes later McCullagh flew past Jordan McConnell and drilled a low ball across the face of the goal, but there was no one at home to take advantage.

Rovers continued to knock on the door and an equaliser seemed inevitable. Alas, McCullagh left his shooting boots at home and missed out on two occasions after superb approach play from Martin McGrath and then Ruairi Doran.

Ireland did have the ball in the net a few minutes later, but his strike was ruled out for offside.

Rovers didn’t have long to wait for the next chance to come along and with 71 minutes gone they must have thought Christmas had come early when they were awarded a penalty.

Doran was judged to have been fouled in the box off the ball by Ballyvea’s Philip McConnell, who had just entered the fray as a substitute, but Ciaran O’Hare’s effort blazed over the top.

Rovers created a few more chances after this with McCullagh and Ireland at the heart of things, but Ballyvea held firm with heroic defensive displays from David McConnell, Keith Hanna and Geoff Bennett. 

Ballyvea: D Fitzpatrick, J McConnell, K Hanna, G Bennett, D McConnell, W Glenny, M Burden, A Chambers, R Stevenson, P Dodds, M McConnell. Subs: P McConnell, M Haugh, J Maginnes, S Martin, A Burden.

Mourne Rovers: R McDowell, R Hanna, M McGrath, C Sloan, C O’Hare, R McAlinden, R O’Hare, C Poland, R Harrison, M Ireland, R McCullagh. Subs: R Doran, S McManus, N Mills, D Sloan, C Shields.

Ballyvea 1

Mourne Rovers 0