Shoot out joy as ‘Cloney seal semi final place

Keith Johnston plays a pass. INBL1606-238PB
Keith Johnston plays a pass. INBL1606-238PB

Donacloney headed to Newmills for their Beckett Cup Quarter-Final tie on Saturday past and sealed progress to the Semi-Final after a penalty shootout win.

The ‘Cloney had went all the way to penalties against Hillsborough in the previous round, and it took the same method to separate the teams in this round.

The game started at a fast pace which remained throughout, both teams having periods of pressure but Donacloney looked to have taken a deserved lead having shaded the first half, only to have the goal disallowed. 0-0 it remained until half-time.

Midfielder Johnny Brown gave Donacloney the lead with a well struck volley inside the box.

However, the lead wasn’t to last long, with Newmills equalising just minutes later.

Newmills won a corner and Tim Carson cleared the resulting header off the line, only for a cross to be played back across the 6 yard box and turned into the net.

Donacloney changed the shape of their side with the substitution of Ryan Malone on for Ben Nelson as they pushed to get the lead again.

Kane Croft made his comeback from injury and hassled the Newmills defence.

Davy Sterritt, who hit the winning penalty in the last round, replaced Brown in midfield.

Both teams had further pressure but the scoreline remained 1-1.

‘Cloney gave away a penalty in the second half of extra time, and the Newmills captain drilled the ball home for a 2-1 lead.

Donacloney had no other option but to push forward at this stage and it was centre-half and captain Damien Higgins who was highest up the pitch and got beyond the Newmills backline, and was able to hit the back of the net and send the game to penalties.

Steven Leckey, Tim Carson and Darren Brooker made no mistake with their penalties.

Goalkeeper Derek Curran saved two of the Newmills penalty kicks which left Higgins the man to step up and convert the winning penalty.

Donacloney deservedly progress to the Semi-Final against Moira Albion, with Caledon Rovers awaiting the winners in the Final.

Donacloney Reserves had no game on Saturday past. No fixture this weekend for the Firsts or Reserves, with both teams returning to action on Saturday 2nd April. The Firsts are away to Moira Albion in the Beckett Cup Semi-Final on that day with the Reserves facing Lurgan United Reserves at home in a league fixture.