Friday’s cup final was a victory won largely thanks to an impenetrable Moneyslane defence.
After Johnny Kernaghan netted a ninth minute goal, Slane’s back line went into lockdown to ensure that was the only goal that was needed to secure a narrow yet convincing victory.
“It was frustrating to watch,” said manager David Johnstone. “The lads weren’t playing to their potential but the injury changed the game.”
During the first period, Bourneview man Mark Smith suffered a broken leg and causing a 45 minute delay.
“After the delay due to the injury, it was like our bubble had burst having already got the early goal,” continued DJ. “The lads were very wary going into tackles and we seemed to play the last 55 minutes like a team would play the last five if they were ahead.
“All the emphasis was on not conceding and nobody wanted to take any chances. The lads did very well not to concede and, looking back, Bourneview didn’t actually created and real clear cut chances.
“They dominated the midfield for large periods but the harsh reality is Stevie White didn’t have to dive once to make a save.
“It was great to finish the season on a high. Now we’ll enjoy a break, take stock of things and prepare for next season.”
In front of a large and vociferous BAWA at Crystal Park, Moneyslane couldn’t have got off to a much better start.
They were on the offensive right from the off with Darragh Peden forcing an early save with a header.
His side were soon to go one betetr as JK finished off a fine team move. Jonny Gibson won the ball in midfield and fed in-form forward Gregg Harrison. He drove into the box before cutting the ball back to Johnny Kernaghan who expertly curled the ball into the bottom corner form 14 yards out.
After the long injury delay, Mill began to come into the game, finally forcing Stephen White into a save from a long range header.
On 35 minutes, Bourneview had the ball in the net from a 35 yard free kick, but much to Slane’s relief, the referee insisted on a retake as he said the free kick was on the whistle and had his back to play counting out the wall.
Bourneview came out with plenty of endeavour in the second half and had Moneyslane on the back foot without creating any chances.
Moneyslane, on the other hand, were struggling to play any meaningful football but still created chances. Mark Ervine fired over from 20 yards and Johnny Kernaghan blasted into the side netting from a tight angle.
Gregg Harrison then went through one on one but shot early and the keeper made the save. Stevie Coulter, Brian Quilty and Harrison all shot off target when well placed as Slane spurned some big opportunities.
At the other end, Bourneview forced a number of corners but the Moneyslane defence, controlled superbly by Darragh Peden, were resolute.
Then a Bourneview player, who was already on a yellow card, foolishly raised his elbow into Stevie Coulter in full view of the ref giving the official no choice but to show a second yellow.
Even down to 10 men Bourneview pushed for an equaliser. On the breakaway, Moneyslane had a great chance to end the game when Jordan Fairley, Brian Quilty and Johnny Kernaghan broke through three on one but the shot was rushed and a glorious chance spurned.
Thankfully for Slane, it wasn’t to matter as the final whistle was soon blown and the club had won their first trophy at Intermediate level.