It was another great weekend for the two Carryduff Colts senior teams with major victories in league and cup.
The firsts came from behind twice in their Junior Shield tie against highly fancied Amateur League outfit Rooftop to reach the fourth round for the first time – earning an away game to Ballymena’s Braid United in December for a place in the last 16.
The seconds were also in fine form winning 4-3 away from home against fellow title challengers Rathfriland.
A sizeable crowd turned up at Lough Moss for the firsts game and they were entertained by a competitive and exciting game of football.
Rooftop began the brighter and took the lead after 20 minutes when the striker burst through the middle and fired a shot into the top corner.
But 10 minutes later Stevie Doherty pounced to equalise as Colts midfield of Conor Cassidy and Fergus McBride took a grip if the game. Adam Shilliday and Darragh Brownlee both went close to putting the Colts ahead while Calum McSorley’s pace was a constant threat but it was the visitors who restored their lead before the break.
Carryduff knew if they could keep up their performance level and high pressing game they had a real chance and the game turned on its head within 10 minutes of the restart when they took the lead with two goals in a minute.
It was long serving full back Paul Murphy who got the equaliser when he raced out of defence and sent over a cross into the penalty area and to his and everyone else’s surprise the ball ended up nestling in the back of the net.
With their tails up the Colts went on the attack immediately from the restart and the ball reached Doherty on the right and he cut inside the defender and placed the ball expertly into the corner for his eighth goal in the past four games.
The Colts back four were superb during this period of the game with Kealan Devlin and Rory McDonnell winning everything in the air and Maguire and Murphy tough tackling and determined. Goalkeeper John Mulholland was outstanding again and the experience and organisational skills he has brought has seen big improvement in defence.
Colts brought on Jack Compton for Adam Shilliday, who had run himself into a standstill with some great runs, to shore up the defence further.
But it was the introduction of young Arron Waddell for Calum McSorley, who had given the Rooftop defence headaches all day, that sealed the game. Within seconds of his introduction, the ball fell to the feet of the striker in the box and he swivelled to fire past the keeper with his first touch of the ball to give his side a two goal cushion.
Jonny Henry came on for Brownlee with 20 minutes to go and his hold up play and strong leading of the line helped his side retain their lead.
All 14 players can be proud of their performance and would all be contenders for man of the match though Paul Maguire, Devlin , McBride and Cassidy deserve special mention as their performances were outstanding.
* The Seconds great run of form continued with a well-deserved 4-3 win over Rathfriland, although they made it a bit difficult for themselves by allowing the home team to comeback from 4-1 down to within a goal with 15 minutes still to play.
In-form striker Chris Doyle gave Colts a two goal half time lead and then young Caleb Keating added a third from a good cross by Jordy Toal after the restart.
Rathfriland pulled one back but Eoin Doherty restored his team’s two goal advantage soon after and the visitors looked to be cruising to a comfortable win.
They then got two goals to reduce arrears to 4-3 but Carryduff held on for a well deserved win keeping them within touching distance of the top. Again, all 14 players played their part in the win with Conor O’Toole, Luke Holden, goalkeeper Nathan Lyons and man of the match Stevie Laverty the stand-outs.