McConnell keeps his cool to put Gers through

Jonny Roy in action for Rathfriland against Moyola on Saturday. Pic: Iain McDowell / Rathfriland FC.
Jonny Roy in action for Rathfriland against Moyola on Saturday. Pic: Iain McDowell / Rathfriland FC.

Rathfriland Rangers set up a second round trip to Grove United with a dramatic shootout win over Moyola Park in Irish Cup round one on Saturday.

The game finished 3-3 but the Whites showed cool heads to put their name in the next round, two played on Saturday October 1.

Jason Paul put Moyola ahead before Jonathan Scannell equalised. Tiarnan Rafferty restored the visitors’ advantage only for Daryl Evans to cancel it out and David Graham gave Rathfriland a lead before Daniel McIlhatton struck to take the game the distance.

The Rangers went into the match against their Premier Intermediate opponents as slight underdogs but it took sloppy play from Rathfriland to hand over the advantage. James Costello laid the ball back to his defence but neither centre-half took responsibility and Paul nipped in to finish.

Scannell soon levelled, rolling the ball precisely into the far corner, but that was undone when Stevie Coulter;s backpass was far too short and Rafferty capitalised.

With the final move of the half, Rathfriland made sure they went into the break on level terms as Evans headed home Roy’s free-kick.

The Whites went ahead in the second half when Man of the Match Graham lashed a spectacular shot into the top corner.

Another moment of magic, this one from McIlhatton, made it 3-3 and after a couple of missed chances from substitute Nathan McConnell, it was on to penalties.

Roy, Davey Graham and Jack Graham all scored, and as the visitors missed twice, McConnell fired home the winning spot-kick.