Curran is Cloney’s hero as they win cup shoot-out

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Donacloney Firsts travelled to Wallace Park on Saturday past for a Beckett Cup Round one game against Hillsborough Boys.

Hillsborough started well with all the opening pressure. They had good attacking wide players and their movement was proving a handful for the Donacloney back four.

Hillsborough raced into a 2-0 lead with the movement of the forwards catching the back line out as they were drawn towards the ball on two occasions and Hillsborough got in behind to punish them.

Against the run of play ‘Cloney pulled one back as Chris Shields put in a pinpoint cross for Steven Leckey to head home.

Donacloney regrouped during the half time break and came out much improved in in the second half keeping the home side quiet.

Indeed ‘Cloney were the better side in the second half and completed the comeback with a counter attack that ended with Ben Nelson being upended in the box. Nelson brushed himself off to put away the spot kick.

‘Cloney then went 3-2 infront with a great delivery being flicked on by Leckey and put away decisively by the head of Dave Watterson.

The game was taken into extra time as Hillsborough were awarded a penalty after a tussle between Kiefer O’Boyle and the opposition winger in the penalty area.

Few chances were created in extra time although Leckey was unlucky not to get on the end of another Shields cross.

Donacloney triumphed 5-4 on penalties with Steven Leckey, Tim Carson, Darren Brooker, Ben Nelson and Davy Sterritt successfully converting from the spot.

Goalkeeper Derek Curran was again the hero continuing his great season with a vital penalty save leaving Davy Sterritt to coolly place the decisive penalty beyond the Hillsborough ‘keeper to put Cloney through.

Donacloney will face Newmills away in the Quarter-Final of the Beckett Cup. Another away game for the village side against Hillsborough Boys this weekend, this time in Division Three.

Donacloney team; Derek Curran, Jason Stokes, Dave Watterson, Damien Higgins, Tim Carson, Johnny Brown, Danny Read, Darren Brooker, Steven Leckey, Ben Nelson, Chris Shields. Subs; Davy Sterritt (replaced Brown), Kiefer O’Boyle (replaced Read) and Gary Knox (not used).