Bangor lifted the Linden Cup for the second time in three years on Monday, two goals apiece from Ryan Burgess and Michael McComb helping them ease to an emphatic 5-0 win over Raphoe in the final at Deramore Park, writes John Flack.
The seasiders were in control for the vast majority of the game, so much so that their keeper Andy Seay didn’t have a save to make in the entire 70 minutes when the Donegal side managed only one attempt on goal.
However, Raphoe, who were short of two key men in William Wauchope and William Kilpatrick, who were late cry-offs, couldn’t be faulted for their effort and commitment. Despite the scoreline, they defended heroically with goalkeeper David Moore, in particular, catching the eye.
Bangor also had no fewer than five goal-bound attempts superbly cleared off the line by the men in front of their keeper.
The penalty-corner count of 10-0 in Bangor’s favour told its own story and, had it not been for those clearances and Moore’s shot-stopping, the winning margin would clearly have been much bigger.
“I was delighted with the performance and I thought we played well, managed to keep them quiet and we were never in any real trouble,” said Bangor coach Scott Parker. “However, we have a massive league game against coming up at the weekend against Kilkeel so that’s now our focus.”
Bangor had won the corresponding league game 3-0 a fortnight earlier when they scored all their goals in the first-half. But in the rematch, it was the converse as four of their goals came after the break after they had led 1-0 at the interval.
After several early saves from Moore, who brilliantly denied Simon Cox, David McClune and Chris Campbell, Bangor broke the deadlock in the 25th minute. Cox scored from the first penalty-corner of the game when he dived to deflect Joel Easlea’s shot past Moore.
McClune then had a set-piece cleared off the line and was denied a ‘goal’ when his subsequent corner strike was ruled out for an infringement.
Bangor continued to dominate after the restart and Burgess, who had two shots taken off the line moments earlier, made it 2-0 with an excellent backhand shot in the 38th minute.
McComb added a third goal three minutes later when he scored at the far post and he then made it 4-0 from close-range after a good move down the right flank.
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Bangor were able to take the foot off the pedal with that cushion and Raphoe then enjoyed their best spell of the game, with Tommy Orr’s effort narrowly off target.
However, Bangor’s more clinical touch in front of goal was again evident when Burgess got his second of the game from the penalty spot to seal the deal with 12 minutes left.
Bangor (from): Andy Seay, Adam Reading, Adam Watson, Ryan Burgess, Rhys Cunningham, Michael McComb, David McClune, Ryan Tate, Simon Cox, Christopher Campbell, Joel Easlea, Greg Shevlin, Zach McKee, Aaron Martin, Chris Kent.
Raphoe (from): David Moore, Alan Meehan, Tom Eaton, Jordan Devenney, Tommy Orr, Mark Rutherford, James Wilson, Ian McGonigle, Zack West, Evan Lyttle, Keith Meehan, Simon Goudie, Stephen Cleverly, Jonny Long, Adrian Crumley, John Watt, Reece Gallagher.
Umpires: Paul Arneill & Noel McBride.