A solitary goal from Terence Shiels was enough for Swilly Rovers to nick the Knockalla Caravans Cup on Bank Holiday Monday at Leckview Park.
Swilly Rovers 1
Glengad United 0
The Ramelton side made the most of the best chance that came their way, when Shiels netted eight minutes before half-time, although the Inishowen outfit will have gone home wondering just how they lost.
Swilly goalkeeper Gareth Wade made a number of fine saves - both before and after the only goal was posted.
Glengad should’ve gone ahead as early as the fourth minute when Keith Hegarty was dispossessed in possession in midfield.
Terence Doherty skipped away from the Swilly defence into half-an-acre of green grass, only to see Wade stay on his feet long enough to deny him in the one-on-one situation.
Jason Gibson, the Swilly Rovers manager, had to have his thinking cap on as he was forced to withdraw both Darren Dunworth and Michael McHugh in the first 20 minutes through injury.
That understandably unsettled things and Wade was on hand to palm out a daisy-cutter from Patrick McDermott on 26 minutes.
Swilly, after their forced alterations, grew their way into the match and Wade was less frequently involved as the half drew to a conclusion.
They went ahead on 37 minutes when James McCahill crossed from the right.
John Gerard McDermott and Ruairí Doherty from Glengad and Swilly’s Ronan Curtis all challenged for the ball, but it evaded the cluster and fell to Shiels at the back post.
The winger, who had scored the winner in the Arranmore summer cup the day beforehand, controlled the ball before placing it right-footed from 15 yards into Martin McLaughlin’s bottom left-hand corner.
A minute later, Ronan Curtis drew a save from the Glengad goalkeeper and this his brother Declan shot just wide in Swilly’s best spell in the match.
Stephen McLaughlin, the Glengad wide midfielder, had the first stab of the second half when he trickled a shot that Wade initially failed to hold but recovered before Terence Doherty could pounce.
The Swilly goalkeeper then made arguably his best save of the match, when he tipped over from John Gerard McLaughlin’s stooping header after McDermott’s cross.
Then, following some needless hesitancy between centre-backs Marty Boyce and Columba O’Donnell, who were flawless besides, Glengad substitute Seamus Doherty passed up a one-on-one situation with Wade again the hero.
With all the substitutions made, Swilly were like the walking wounded in the latter stages, with Hegarty in particular pain as his team managed to hold onto their lead.
And although they mightn’t have reached the heights they’ve set for themselves, Gibson’s side showed enough heart to get over the line and take the cup back to the banks of the Lennon.
Swilly Rovers: Gareth Wade; Darren Dunworth, Marty Boyce, Columba O’Donnell, Laurence Toland; Declan Curtis, James McCahill, Keith Hegarty, Terence Shiels; Ronan Curtis, Michael McHugh. Subs: Ryan Toland for Dunworth (10), Kyle Black for McHugh (20), Jordan Toland for McCahill (73)
Glengad United: Martin McLaughlin; John Gerard McDermott, Ruairí Doherty, Shane Doherty, Jason Doherty; Stephen McLaughlin, John Gerard McLaughlin, Charlie Byrne, John McDaid; Terence Doherty, Patrick McDermott. Subs: Seamus Doherty for J Doherty (47), Christy McLaughlin for McDaid (73).
Referee: Packie Coll.