Raphoe hosted this year’s Kirk cup winners, Annadale, on Saturday only losing by a single goal in an entertaining encounter.
Both teams started well despite the awful weather conditions. Annadale where 1st off the mark though after five minutes. With Annadale forward Edgar in front of goal, a goal was imminent but Raphoe keeper Rankin mauled him down and giving Annadale a penalty stroke. The penalty was fired in with ease.
Raphoe kept there heads high and pushed for an equaliser. Gavin Lecky coming close on a few occasions but denied each time by the strong Annadale rearguard.
At the other end Raphoe where dealing well with any attack from Annadale, Simon Goudie and Lee Stewart putting in another consistent defensive display at the back.
A quick counter attack then by Raphoe produced the equaliser, Willie Kilpatrick and Ian McGonigle did well to release Gavin Lecky who powered forward exchanging passes with Luke Witherow and tucking the ball past Annadale keeper.
The half ended 1-1 with the players sheltering from another heavy hail shower.
The second half started with Raphoe on top, they pinned Annadale back for the first 10 minutes but couldn’t find that vital second goal. Coll, Lecky and Witherow all having chances saved. They would regret this spell of pressure as Annadale did find a second goal. After a string of penalty corners, one found its way past the defence.
With only 15 minutes remaining Raphoe still had hope and during another severe hail shower Raphoe got the equaliser, Rodney Bates finding George Patterson who spread the ball to Gavin Lecky at the second attempt who then expertly dispatched a reverse stick shot passed the Annadale stopper with help from Lee Coll being well positioned to distract the keeper.
The remainder of the game seen both teams exchange attacks, no one was settling for a draw but with five minutes remaining Raphoe unfortunately received the sucker punch. A swift counter attack from Annadale caught Raphoe short at the back and despite the best efforts of the gutsy defence Annadale got the winning goal. An unfortunate end to a good Raphoe performance.
Raphoe still find themselves in with a chance of staying in the premier league for a second year but have still a lot of work to do. Man of the match was Simon Goudie. Team- J. Rankin, R. Bates, L. Stewart, S. Goudie, A. Meehan, G. Patterson, I. McGonigle, W. Kilpatrick, G. Rankin, J. Long, L. Coll, L. Witherow.