Villagers advance in cup to face rivals Celtic Bhoys

Villagers advance in cup to face rivals Celtic Bhoys

24 November 2021

ARDGLASS booked their place in the final of the Bobby Dalzell Cup with Celtic Bhoys after overcoming league rivals Dundrum United in an entertaining clash at Ballyhornan on Friday night.

Four goals from striker Michael Magee capped a fantastic individual performance to propel his Ardglass side past a dangerous Dundrum, who were always within reach of their opponents, but just couldn’t capitalise at key moments.

Dundrum kicked off the action in ideal conditions with no hint of a breeze hindering the sides and soon both teams had chances aplenty. 

However, it was Ardglass who had the first significant opportunity of the match, after a long throw from Steven Deegan found team-mate and captain, Matthew Rooney, unmarked inside the Dundrum box.

Rooney’s effort whisked over the crossbar in what was a warning for United, as their travelling support began to rally the team early on.

Jamie Carroll was always a danger for Dundrum, although he often found his opportunities in front of goal consistently limited due to the admiral defensive performance from centre back Neil Teggart.

The Ardglass number four made a timely tackle on Carroll inside the box to the applause of the supporters before an attack opened up at the other end of the pitch.

With ten minutes gone on the clock, Ardglass continued to threaten with long throw-ins into the box and this time it would provide the opener, with marksman Michael Magee managing to bundle the ball over the line after a pinball of clearances.

This seemed to spark the contest into life as tackles began flying and tempers started to flare. Dundrum’s Mark Grant and Patrick Cunningham made themselves known in particular, with their no nonsense approach whilst attempting to win the ball.

Despite this, Dundrum would find themselves two goals down just five minutes later after a lovely weighted free kick from Teggart met the head of Magee, who managed to bring his over six foot tall frame low to the ground to connect with the ball ahead of ‘keeper David Fitzpatrick.

The game was well and truly open at this stage, with Deegan now finding himself involved in more ways than one.

Firstly, the Ardglass number seven saw himself enter referee Anthony Russell’s book for a late challenge before beating the offside trap minutes later and dragging his shot just wide of the post.

Dundrum’s Jordan Kennedy was next to receive a yellow card for a crunching tackle on Magee as the officials looked to grab hold of the game.

The impressive Teggart put in yet another eye-catching tackle before thumping the ball up to his forward line.

Ardglass thought they had a third when Sean-Paul Halpin’s point-blank effort was fumbled by Fitzpatrick, but the Dundrum custodian did brilliantly to recover and not allow the ball to cross the line.

Dundrum never let their heads and soon were rewarded for their fighting spirit. Following a failed Ardglass clearance from an incoming corner, United’s Aaron McKibben found himself with his back to goal on the 18 yard line.

McKibben, quite brilliantly, swivelled first time and unleashed a looping right footed effort that lofted into the top right hand corner of the Ardglass net.

Suddenly, with 34 minutes played, Dundrum had halved the deficit and were back in the game.

Magee attempted to instantly reply, but saw his outstretched effort comfortably saved by ‘keeper Fitzpatrick in what was the last significant action of the half.

Ardglass thought they had extended their lead just two minutes after the restart when Halpin was left completely unmarked in the box and looked certain to put the ball in the back of the net.

However, the striker somehow cracked the ball off the underside of the crossbar and back out onto the pitch, in what was a significant let off from Dundrum.

United enjoyed the bulk of possession in the following ten minutes, before Teggart floated in another of his trademark free-kicks onto the head of Magee, with Fitzpatrick pulling off a fantastic save to deny him his hat-trick.

Teggart was kept busy in his own half, this time stopping Scott McKibben from a golden opportunity to bring the tie level.

A long Dundrum throw-in followed with Ardglass now living on the edge, as all that the ball needed was the faintest of touches to end up in their net. 

The Dundrum supporters were now by far the loudest at the venue, with their team sensing they were just one kick away from pushing on to a memorable comeback.

Ardglass knew this and deployed all 11 of their players into their own half to thwart any incoming Dundrum attacks, with United constantly pushing and enjoying the momentum.

However on the 75th minute and against the run of play, another pinpoint Teggart free-kick would put the tie beyond Dundrum’s reach.

The ball sailed from the Ardglass half to Deegan, who headed back across the box to team-mate Magee. 

Once again the striker went low to the ground to complete his hat-trick and send the Ardglass supporters into raptures. 

Ardglass ‘keeper Mark Armstrong picked up a yellow card two minutes later for some choice words and slight timewasting as his side looked to run down the clock.

To their credit, Dundrum refused to give up knowing that their window of opportunity was shrinking.

With United committing forward, Ardglass resorted to punting the ball back up the pitch to frustrate their opponents who were forced to reset their attacks.

Following a Dundrum offside in the 85th minute, Teggart once again struck the ball towards team-mate Deegan, who played a pass along the ground for Magee to delicately flick through the legs of Fitzpatrick to give him his fourth goal of the match.

United knew the game had slipped away from them after they were caught twice from counterattacking football, and perhaps this led to the straight red card that was awarded to Grant whose two footed challenge on Aidan Watson saw him exit the field early.

Moments later the final whistle blew to conclude a truly entertaining contest and confirm it would be Ardglass who will face Celtic Bhoys in the final on Monday, December 27.

After the contest, man of the match Michael Magee reflected on his side’s performance and his memorable four goal personal tally.

“It was tougher than the 4-1 score line suggested. Dundrum brought a massive crowd down with them so it was good to silence them,” he said.

“I think we really needed that third goal, thankfully we were lucky enough to get it.

“I don’t usually get that much space up front, I don’t know what happened there tonight but I love it,” he continued.

“Celtic Bhoys are going to be a tough, tough game in the final as they always are, but we will be ready for them.”

The McCalls Newcastle League would like to thank Ballyhornan Family Centre for the use of their facilities which hosted both semi-finals.

Ardglass: M Armstrong, S Teggart, L McEvoy, N Teggart, M Crangle, M Rooney (capt), S Deegan, A Watson, M Magee, SP Halpin, C O’Connor.

Subs: J Beattie, S Moore, S Dorrian, R McEvoy, C Kearney.

Yellow Cards: S Deegan, M Armstrong.

Dundrum: D Fitzpatrick, J Kennedy, G Grant, C Fitzpatrick, M Grant, P Cunningham, A Smyth, A McKibben, C Hogg (capt), S McKibben, J Carroll.

Subs: C Mulholland, D Russell, K Glavin, S Todd, S Byrne.

Yellow Cards: J Kennedy.

Red Cards: M Grant.

Corners: Ardglass (6), Dundrum (7).

Offsides: Ardglass (2), Dundrum (1).

Referee: Anthony Russell.

Linesmen: James McCreesh, Barry Mullan.