Loughgall booked their place in the Bob Radcliffe Cup final after a penalty shoot-out win over Banbridge Town at Stangmore Park. The game finished level at 1-1 before the Villagers won passage through to the Boxing Day showpiece courtesy of ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan’s decisive spot-kick.
Ex-Loughgall player Chris Kingsberry give Town the lead after 16 minutes when Loughgall failed to clear Paul Walsh’s corner, the diminutive winger reacted quickest to fire home from close range. Loughgall equalised in the 36th minute through a superb 25-yard strike by Scott Herron that nestled in the top corner.
There were a number of near-misses for both sides as they searched for an elusive winner from open play; Banbridge midfielder Chris McGrath’s goalbound effort was cleared off the line by defender Mark Stewart and Walsh was unlucky to see his 30-yard effort crash off the crossbar. And Loughgall came close when Dale Malone set-up Johnny Kernaghan for a curling shot that struck the upright.
Loughgall: Buchanan, J Finlay, Rodgers, Stewart, King, Herron, Willis (Carson 61m), Malone, Kernaghan (Pedlow 90m), Guy (Ferguson 61m), Boyle. Unused subs: N Finlay, Brady.
Banbridge Town: McAllister, Thompson, Robb (D McGrath 72m), Greene, Johnson, C McGrath (Jones 107m), O’Neill, McCartan (Porter 61m), Downey, Kingsberry, Walsh. Unused subs: Buchanan, Croft.