MATTHEW Leckey was the toast of Raphoe on New Years Day as his late goal won the Linden Cup for the first time in the Donegal club’s history.
With just three minutes left, and with extra time looming, Lecky steered high into the roof of the net to hand Raphoe the historic win at Deramore Park.
William Kilpatrick had brought Raphoe level after an early sucker-punch, delivered by Bangor’s Simon Hunter, had them on the backfoot from the seventh minute.
“We made hard work of that,” said Ian McGonigle, the smiling Raphoe captain after the game.
“We had most of the possession but we just couldn’t get the killer goal.
“We totally dominated the second half but Bangor just seemed to be sitting in and tried to hit us on the break.
“Bangor hit us early on a counter attack with a sucker punch but the players dug deep and we got back at a crucial time just before half time.”
Just seven minutes in, the favourites Raphoe were forced to chase the tie as Bangor’s Simon Hunter smashed past Johnny Rankin to hand the Seasiders a surprise lead.
Raphoe, the current Senior One leaders, began to find their stride and littered the Bangor goal with a succession of chances.
However, in Bangor goalkeeper Andy Seay, the found an able opponent. Seay was in inspired form as he thwarted Raphoe time and time again.
The highlight for Seay came on 22 minutes when he superbly forced away a goalbound effort from Gavin Leckey.
On the half-hour mark, Raphoe finally broke his resistance. Just outside the circle, William Kilpatrick teed himself up for a pot at goal – and he made no mistake, giving Seay no chance of making a save.
The second half was all Raphoe, as they continued to put the Bangor defence under pressure and in the 45th minute, Seay again had the better of Gavin Leckey, as he denied the Raphoe forward with another remarkable save.
As extra time approached, Raphoe seized the day. From their seventh penalty corner of the contest, the Donegal side forced the match-winner as Matthew Leckey blasted home in style to give Raphor their historic win.
Now, they chase a tilt at promotion.
“We will enjoy this, but we can only take one game at a time,” said captain McGonigle.
“We have a tough game this Saturday against Portadown
“This is Raphoe’s first cup in many many years and we have always come out on the wrong side of finals, so this makes a very nice change.”
Raphoe: J. Rankin, R. Bates, L. Coll, M. Leckey, S. Goudie, E. Lyttle, W. Kilpatrick, I. McGonigle, J. Long, G. Leckey, G. Patterson, A. Meehan, P. Stewart, R. Tinney, M. Buchannon.
Bangor: A. Seay, P. Snodden, S. Scales, L. Brennan, P. Templeton, S. McLean, S. Hunter, R. Cunningham, D. McClune, P. McCausland, M.Ormsby, J. Trimble, J. Mottashaw, N. McKeown, R. Coughlin, D. Edwards.
It is understood that Donegal will receive approximately €250,000 in grant aid towards developing dressing rooms at the new...