Moneyslane couldn’t have come any closer to the biggest result in the club’s history on Saturday afternoon.
They travelled to Dixon Park to take on Championship One side Ballyclare Comrades in the Intermediate Cup.
And they gave the hosts the scare of their lives, putting five past them in a mammoth 11 goal game. Had they managed to shore things up at the back, they would have walked into the last 16 but, alas, had to make do with a 6-5 defeat.
Club captain Gareth Bingham had last week told the LEADER that he fancied his side to score goals against their more senior opposition. Boy was he right.
Their MOTM Brian Quilty was on target twice as Stevie Coulter and Gareth Rees were also on the score-sheet and Bingham himself couldn’t help but get in on the act.
It was Slane who went ahead first when Coulter nodded in at the near post from a 13th minute corner.
However, the hosts rallied back with a three goal blast in just four minutes.
They were level on 22 when Gary Brown burst down the left before crossing to established forward Chris Trussell. He showed all his quality, firing a crisp first-time finish into the net.
And just a minute later, they were ahead as Brown this time got on the end of a Michael O’Hanlon square ball to finish from close range. Chris Getty then made matters worse for Slane, heading in an O’Hanlon corner for 3-1.
A Mid-Ulster side could have been forgiven for caving in such circumstances. But not this one.
Gareth Rees got them back into the game with a close range header before, on 41 minutes, Slane again capitalised on the Comrades’ fallibility from set-pieces. This time Brian Quilty was the man to head in from the near post for 3-3.
They started the second half the way they had finished the first, Quilty again netting, this time slamming home a half-cleared free-kick from 12 yards out with the aid of a deflection.
That’s was the visitors 4-3 to the good but, in an unbelievable game, Slane couldn’t hold that lead either. Again Trussell proved hard to stop. This time netting a well-hit 25 yard free-kick.
Mid-way through the half, Ballyclare got what would prove to be a telling lead. JB Dobbin was the man to deliver it as he headed in from a corner before teeing up Randal Reid, who finished clinically to make it 6-4.
Still the scoring wasn’t complete though as Slane made it a nervy finish on 83.
This time it was captain Bingham who got the goal, firing into the roof of the net from 16 yards out.
That was to be it, however, as Ballyclare crept through to the next round by the narrowest of margins.
The Slane fans, meanwhile, gave their heroes a wonderful round of applause for their mammoth efforts.
MOTM for Slane was Brian Quilty -you couldn’t get a beach-ball off him in a phone-box.