A young Coleraine side couldn’t add this year’s North-West Senior Cup to the honours list as they were beaten by Ballinamallard United at The Showgrounds…
Adam Mullan and Eamon Fyfe would be given minutes to impress but it would be the visitors who would edge ahead after just three minutes on the clock. A dangerous cross into the area by Nick Palmer was prodded home at close range by Patrick Ferry.
The Mallards were enjoying a lot of possession with Caolan McAleer, Palmer, Ferry and John Edgar all linking up and creating half chances. However, that pressure led to a second goal on 29 minutes as the Bannsiders failed to clear their lines which allowed Ferry to simply blast the ball into the net.
The lively McAleer would go close sixty seconds later as the winger let fly from distance with the shot clipping the top off the crossbar. At the other end, Coleraine worked the ball well into the box but Chris Cullen’s attempt sailed over the crossbar.
Harry McConkey’s side would then stretch their lead before the interval as McAleer’s 25-yard strike fizzed into the top corner.
The visitors started the second-half on the front foot and hit the woodwork twice in as many minutes as McAleer and Ferry would both see their attempts come back off the post.
On the hour mark, there would be no stopping Ferry from claiming the match ball as he rose highest from a McAleer corner to head the ball into the back of the net.
The home support would have a goal of their own to cheer on 70 minutes and what a strike it was as Fyfe picked up the ball with his back to goal and hit a strike on the turn that left Jamie Ray with no chance.
After Peter Maguire would hit the woodwork for the fourth time, Coleraine ended strongly as Senan Devine fired wide after a neat build-up play with Fyfe, before Cullen failed to find the target from inside the box after a fine team move.
A thoroughly deserved victory for Ballinamallard United with the U20’s gaining valuable experience against senior opposition.
COLERAINE: McDowell, Mullan, Fyfe, Campbell, Dealey, Kelly (Devine ’46 mins), Callaghan, Cullen, Moffatt (Kirk ’46 mins), Curran (Stinson ’67 mins), McLaughlin.
Subs Not Used: Donnelly (GK), Patton.
BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Ray, Morris, Arkinson, McKinley, Palmer (McBride ’75 mins), Byrne, Drumm (McCreery ’85 mins), Edgar, McAleer, Ferry (McIlwaine ’67 mins), Maguire.
Subs Not Used: Le-Moignan (GK), Miskimmin.
Referee: Gareth Stewart