Causeway Chronicle

Borbury Boys fall short to reigning Cup holders

BBOB FC – 4  Borbury FC – 2

(Matt Morrison Memorial Cup – Round 2 – Saturday 9th December 2023)

With Borbury drawing last season’s Cup winners BBOB FC in the Matt Morrison Cup, it was always going to be a fascinating cup tie.  Keen to test themselves against established North West opposition the Boys travelled to Lisnagelvin Playing Fields to take on no less than the high flying BBOB, plying their trade in the North West Premier League and currently in second place in their league. 

It was an unfamiliar 1:30 kick-off time for the emerging CDL Morning 2 side however, Borbury arguably started the better side with a low defensive block enabling a counterattack to be triggered with the speedy Ronan McKenna and Logan Farrelly on the wings. 

Against strong possession & soaking up BBOB pressure, the talented Martin Mackle turned over the ball and placed a perfectly weighted pass for Farrelly who cut in from the wing and neatly slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to put the visitors 1-0 up with 17 minutes played.

Undeterred BBOB continued to show their passing pedigree and playing out from the back as Borbury waited patiently to turn it over and hit the counter with Noel Rafferty and Eoin McAuley both excellent and industrious in midfield.  McAuley himself came closest to extending the Borbury lead when great link up with striker Ronan Lynn saw McAuley fire off a shot that had the BBOB’s Adam Lamberton in goal worried only for the shot to curl away from goal. 

Minutes later a slick passing move saw McKenna latch onto the ball on the halfway line to beat his man only to be taken down by the covering midfielder as he hared towards goal.  Still BBOB showed their quality too and drew a series of excellent saves from Jack Conway in the Borbury goal with a well struck free kick coming close but for Conway’s strong hand pushing the shot over the crossbar.  Committed, determined work from the Borbury midfield and defence chaperoned by Captain Fergal McGuigan & Caolan Donnelly saw the lead remain intact going into the interval.

In the second half BBOB came out of the gates with a different dynamic which saw BBOB equalise on the 57th minute with a nice finish into the top left corner from Kyle Friel Curran.  Borbury will be unhappy with not having dealt more effectively with the initial corner that led to the goal.  With their confidence growing BBOB grabbed another in the 66th minute with a cut back being slotted home by Adam Dougherty to make it 2-1 to the defending Champions. 

With the pressure now on, the young Borbury defence seemed unfazed with McGuigan, Donnelly, Jack Heron and James O’Connor continued to confidently play the ball out from the back to help their teammates to gain more of a foothold in the game.

As the game began to get stretched the Borbury midfield were primed to overturn BBOB possession, and on 76 minutes Rafferty and McAuley broke down a fresh BBOB attack allowing the dangerous Mackle to quickly latch onto and feed the physical Lynn up top who got the ball to the rapid McKenna who delivered an exceptional low cross into the box where the advancing Mackle gladly converted first time in producing an impressive finish under the stricken keeper to make it 2-2.

With Borbury looking the more likely, it was corner for the home side that saw them regain the lead on 80 minutes when centre half Thomas Wray rose highest to place an unstoppable header into the net for 3-2 to BBOB. 

Still Borbury did not panic making a triple change with Conor Boyle, Joe Heron and Ryan McAulay entering the fray who continued to be brave on the ball, passing and producing asking balls that only for the slickness of the surface in carrying through to the grateful Lamberton might have reaped more reward.  With time now waning, Borbury increased the pressure for the elusive equaliser but found themselves on the wrong end of a debatable offside decision that BBOB have two bites of the cherry to score their fourth and Dougherty’s second of the day to make it 4-2 to the reigning champions.

Undaunted the youthful Borbury continued to probe and a change of system saw Ronan Donnelly introduced as the visitors looked to overload the attacking areas of the pitch.  Donnelly while restricted to a few minutes made a telling and brave challenge that prevented BBOB pulling any further away with the final whistle coming soon after to confirm the win for the home side.

While not the desired result, Borbury can take much heart from the performance which saw hard work, talent and determination fall just short against more experienced BBOB side who played some excellent football.  Borbury would like wish BBOB good luck in the next round and for the rest of the season.

This performance will stand Borbury in good stead for next week’s fixture at Meadowbank in the local derby against Draperstown Celtic Reserves, a side who are putting together a good run of form.

Massive thanks to the Borbury supporters who travelled over the mountain to support the Boys.  Thanks goes to this season’s primary sponsors Promould Limited, LJs Tavern and the Brackagh Quarry Wind Farm Community Fund for their continued support.

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle