Causeway Chronicle

Northern Ireland Intermediate League

By Ivor Hawe

Maiden City Challenge Cup Winners  

Maiden  City    5

Strabane Athletic    3

At the neutral venue of a sun drenched Ballyguddin Road, the curtain came down on an eventful Northern Ireland Intermediate League season.

The Challenge Cup Final between holders, Maiden City, and Strabane Athletic, failed to disappoint, with an unlikely come back, and late goals sealing the trophy. In virtually their first serious attack, an excellent cross by Bobby Sweeney found Jordan Armstrong inside the area, to slot home for Maiden City.

Midway through the half, it was 2 – 0 when Ryan Devine curled the ball in off a post for a fine goal. And, it looked like game over before the break when McCaul was upended inside the box, and Dylan Mooney confidently despatched the resulting spot kick, at 3 – 0. Strabane Athletic knew that had nothing to lose now. On the restart, they attacked constantly, and were rewarded when Warner epounced on a rebound for 3 – 1. Minutes later, it was game on as Aodhan Doherty scored with a superb, left foot, 25 yard volley to make it 3 – 2.

Maiden City were stunned now, and their three goal first half advantage was wiped out, when Oran McShane was on hand to shoot past keeper Ray Kelly, and bring the sides level 3- 3. Indeed, moments later Mullne missed a golden opportunity from close range to give Strabane Athletic and unlikely lead. This would prove costly.

With time fast running out, Maiden City were awarded a penalty for hand ball, and Mooney fired past keeper McElroy for an 87th minute advantage. Rounding off a great final, Mooney beat the offside trap, raced through, and shot high to the net to complete his hat trick, and leave Maiden City 5 – 3

N.I.Intermediate League Challenge Cup winners. Maiden City – Kelly (captain), Curry, Moore, Mullan, McGilloway, Devine, McCaul, Sweeney, Mooney, McFadden, Armstrong.  Strabane Athletic – McElroy, Stephenson, McCrossan, Kirk, McMenemin, McShane, Bishop, Doherty, Coyle, Ferry, Mullen.

Cup final action from Ballyguddin Road

Maiden City celebrate cup win

Captain Ray Kelly, admires the Challenge Cup


Maurice Bradley