Raphoe welcomed Dublin side Fingal to the Royal & Prior School grounds on Saturday for the first round of the Irish Senior Cup.
Raphoe started a little shaky allowing the Fingal attack an early chance on goal but Jonny Rankin in the Raphoe goal matched their efforts with a fine stop. He could do nothing about the penalty corner moments later. Shane Dempsey firing the opening goal for the Dublin men with a well taken penalty corner.
For the remainder of the half Fingal sat back and soaked up the Raphoe pressure. Chance after chance came for Raphoe but they where unable to get a goal, Lee Coll, Gavin Lecky, Lee Stewart and Jonathan Long coming agonisgly close with some good efforts. Raphoe then again nearly scored when a good short corner routine from Ian McGonigle and Richard Patterson tested the Fingal keeper but he excellently pushed it out of harms way for a corner.
Raphoe for much of the half found every attack being broke down in the final quarter of the pitch and as legs began to tire before half time, Fingal then punished Raphoe for all there possession and no results with a result of their own. After another failed Raphoe attack, Fingal broke from their half with a full press, with 4 slick passes, splitting the Raphoe midfield and defence, Jeremy McKeever found himself one on one with Raphoe keeper Rankin, McKeever’s miss hit effort on goal struck the unfortunate Jonny Rankin’s pad and trickled into an empty goal.
The second half saw Raphoe get a few more results from all their possession, Lee Coll winning a short corner for the home side but Simon Goudies effort from the resulting corner was saved and cleared. Ian McGonigle and Johnny Long both had two further chances saved after good work from George Patterson on the right. Finally a goal did come, William Kilpatrick playing a precise pass to Gavin Lecky who beat two Fingal defenders and lashed the ball past an oncoming Fingal keeper on 58 minutes.
Raphoe now had a belief of an equaliser and taking the game to extra time. Raphoe threw everything at the Fingal rearguard but on each occasion were unable to get their goal and with seconds left on the clock, Fingal then snatched a third, with Raphoe pressing hard up the pitch, Fingal broke and it was 4 versus two at the back, although Rodney Bates and William Kilpatrick did well to block the first effort as well as an amazing save from the helmet of Jonny Rankin, the ball still managed to fall again to Luke Hayden who pushed the ball into the Raphoe goal. Man of Match was Lee Stewart. Fingal play Civil Service in 2nd round.
Raphoe now play league leaders Banbridge next Saturday in what will be one of there toughest games to date.
Raphoe team – Jonny Rankin, Rodney Bates, Simon Goudie, William Kilpatrick, Alan Meehan, George Patterson, Ian McGonigle, Lee Stewart, Richard Patterson, Gavin Lecky, Johnny Long, Lee Coll, Paul Stewart, Stephen Cleverly