Raphoe produced a fine result in Lisburn on Saturday as they overcame South Antrim, who went into the match with a 100 per cent record this season.
South Antrim 1
South Antrim were unbeaten in the league having won all seven of their previous games and without the services of Matthew Lecky, who was unable to travel through sickness, Raphoe’s task looked daunting.
South Antrim were quick out of the blocks and they went ahead after only 40 seconds - an interception on Raphoe’s right saw Paddy Cochrane cross the ball for Paul Maguire to nip in at the near post and deflect the ball into the roof of the net.
Raphoe’s best chance to equalise came midway through the half, Paul Stewart was put through on goal but instead of shooting himself he tried to pick out Ben Wallace who, surrounded by a couple of defenders couldn’t get a clear shot away. Back came South Antrim and from another short corner Rankin again saved Cochrane’s drag flick to keep the score 1 - 0.
Raphoe forced a short corner of their own and Ben Wallace equalised with a rasping shot from the top of the circle that clipped the top of the keepers pads and flew into the back of the net.
In the remaining 10 minutes of the half it was all one way traffic as South Antrim pushed forward searching for a goal that would put them back into the lead but Raphoe’s defence held firm and the half ended 1 - 1.
South Antrim again came out of the blocks quickly at the start of the second half but again Raphoe held firm with some dogged defending.
Ben Wallace received a two-minute sin bin for a late stick tackle but even with the extra man South Antrim couldn’t take advantage.
Twelve minutes into the half Keith Meehan made an excellant interception on the halfway line and he sent the ball forward for Kit Regan to race onto but the South Antrim keeper was quick off his line and managed to clear the ball to safety.
Raphoe took the lead midway through the half from their second short corner.
Without the services of Matthew Lecky at the top of the circle Raphoe had to switch things around and it was from a switch to the right that saw Ian McGonigle in acres of space.
He took his time, picked his spot and fired into the bottom left hand corner.
South Antrim, trying to get back into the game ,forced several short corners but again they lacked ideas and when Rankin saved the initial shots either McGonigle,
Keith Meehan or Goudie were on hand to clear the danger. With 10 minutes left Johnny Long got himself sin-bined for hitting the ball away after conceding a free.
With time running out and South Antrim trying desperately to find an equaliser to protect their unbeaten run they, with the help of some wayward Raphoe passing, won several short corners in a row.
However, they still couldn’t find a way past Rankin and the three points were heading back to Donegal.
The final score was 2 - 1 to Raphoe. Man of the match for Raphoe was Kit Regan.
This coming Saturday Raphoe are at home to Antrim with a 2.30pm push back.
Raphoe: Johnny Rankin, Simon Goudie, Alexander Tinney, Alan Meehan, Ian McGonigle (Capt.), William Kilpatrick, Keith Meehan, Ben Wallace, Johnny Long, Kit Regan, Paul Stewart, Stephen Cleverley, Rodney Lindsay. Coach: Rodney Bates. Manager: Richard Eaton.