Penalty shootout heartache for Rathcoole in O’Gorman Cup final

Rathcoole FC lost out to Desertmartin in Friday night's O'Gorman Cup final. INLT 21-951-CON
Rathcoole FC lost out to Desertmartin in Friday night's O'Gorman Cup final. INLT 21-951-CON

Rathcoole were left to ponder on what might have been after they lost on penalties to Desermartin in Friday’s O’Gorman Cup final.

The lads from the Diamond may have finished two places and four points above their opponents in the Intermediate Division of the Ballymena and Provincial League, but it was the County Londonderry side who walked away with the silverware.

The game got off to a blistering start when Desertmartin, pushing forward from the kick-off, were awarded a first-minute penalty after Robin Patton was adjudged to have been impeded in the penalty box. Patton dusted himself down and beat Rathcoole stopper Kyle Agnew from the spot, finding the bottom corner of the net with a low shot.

Desertmartin squandered a chance to double their advantage just two minutes later and this proved to be the best chance for either team until Agnew produced a superb save to deny Danny McIlhatton on the stroke of half-time.

Rathcoole came out all guns blazing at the beginning of the second half and they were rewarded when Jordan Armstrong headed the ball home from a corner to bring the scores level on 46 minutes.

The game then settled down into a midfield battle but Rathcoole’s Adam Irwin did have a good chance to snatch victory, only to see his shot go over the Desertmartin bar on 83 minutes.

With the teams still level at the end of the 90, extra-time was played but neither side could find a way through so the contest was decided on spot-kicks.

Desertmartin ‘keeper David Nelson proved to be the hero when he saved the first three Rathcoole penalties. Desertmartin scored their first two.

Rathcoole netted their fourth and with Desertmartin’s third being saved it was down to McIlhatton to score number four for Desertmartin to win 3-1 on penalties.

Referee: Mr. Paul Douglas