Loughgall 3-1 Lurgan Celtic

Loughgall avenged their Boxing Day misery from last season as they denied Lurgan Celtic from becoming back-to-back champions.

Celtic were ahead at the break and buoyed by a dominant performance whilst Loughgall fans must have been wondering if they could turn it around.

Credit must be attributed to Colin Malone and Gerard McMahon who smartly altered their teams shape from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2, after a difficult opening half hour, allowing Loughgall to turn around their fortunes.

Lurgan Celtic opened the scoring in the 20th minute after Loughgall defender Neil King upended Aaron Haire inside the penalty area. Niall Lavery calmly stepped up to fire into the corner just out of the reach of the diving Gareth Buchanan.

Loughgall restored parity on 61 minutes when Jeff Brady’s corner delivery was headed home by Mark Stewart from close range.

John Guy netted the Villagers’ second with ten minutes remaining as he connected with a long ball into the area under close pressure from Celtic defender Conor McAnallan.

Loughgall made sure of the Cup success three minutes later when the ball fell to Wesley Boyle on the edge of the area and he hit a superb low shot into the bottom corner past ‘keeper Ciaran Fox.

Loughgall: Buchanan, Finlay, Rodgers, Stewart, King, Carson, Malone, Ferguson, Guy (Pedlow 85m), Brady, Boyle. Unused subs: Foster, Blevins, Herron, Fox.

Lurgan Celtic: Fox, McVeigh, Boyd (McAreavey 85m), McAnallan, Drainney, Lavery, Ryan (Mackin 79m), O’Hara, Campbell, Fitzpatrick, Haire. Unused subs: McCabe, McKavanagh, Conway.

Player of the match: Stephen Ferguson (Loughgall)

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