Adair paints the town red as Corinthian land third IJC title

Men’s Irish Junior Cup final

Lisnagarvey 0 Corinthian 1 (C Adair)

Calum Adair’s close-range finish was all that stood between Corinthian and Lisnagarvey as the Whitechurch club landed the men’s Irish Junior Cup at Comber Road for the third time in their history.

It also owed a lot to some incredible last-ditch defence in the closing seconds as AJ Browne and Alan Blennerhassett scrambled to deny a volley of chances from Garvey and stave off a shoot-out.

Early on, Max Neill caused the first excitement drawing a good stop from James Ritchie while both sides had corner openings go abegging as the first quarter ended scoreless.

Garvey and Ireland legend Mark Raphael set the tone in the second quarter with an early shot skimming wide by the post before the pivotal moment came. After a midfield scuffle for the ball, Ross Howard was set loose, haring down the right wing and getting to the baseline where he picked out Adair waiting in front of goal and he flicked in.

It was a second year in succession Adair had played a key role in the final; in the 2019 edition, he laid on an assist in Three Rock Rovers’ 4-1 success against Instonians, making it a personal two in-a-row for him.

Glenn Holmes drew the best from Ritchie from a corner soon after before Garvey countered via Jacob Herman and Matthew Campton as the half came to a lively end.

Lisnagarvey continued to push for an equaliser in the second half. Matthew Aughey’s shot across the Corinthian goal resulted in a corner for the hosts which came to nothing while a forceful Holmes shot was defended at the far end.

It set up a frantic final quarter with Garvey pushing for the equaliser with Corinthian looking to take the sting out of the game.

The Ulster side’s best chances came from a couple of late set pieces but, first, Browne and then an amazing Blennerhassett lunge served to deflect Stuart McQueen’s rebound over the bar.

Lisnagarvey: J Ritchie, H Morris, M Morris, R Getty, C Irwin, M Aughey, H Scott, O Patterson, S McQueen, P Hunter, S McCabe

Subs: S Chisholm, M Connor, J Hermon, M Raphael, M Campton, P Watson, R Boreland

Corinthian: E MacKay, N Young, A Blennerhassett, C Adair, G Dagg, R Howard, C MacKay, M Neill, H Ellis, R MacWilliam, A Missen

Subs: J Lewis, G Holmes, M Wright, M McCabe, AJ Browne, D Winn, G Davis

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