CLIFTONVILLE 2 DUNGANNON 2
Joe Gormley may have pounced for a last-gasp equaliser but no Cliftonville blushes were spared as Dungannon Swifts pocketed a point at Solitude.
The visitors had turned the tie on its head to lead with just six minutes left on the clock and, while Gormley’s intervention cruelly denied their victory, it was the champions who came away most disappointed after another tepid display.
Liam Boyce opened the scoring just before the interval with a fine touch, jink and finish but namesake Darren levelled matters early in the second period when he seized upon James Costelli’s delivery to smash home via the underside of the crossbar.
The same player should have put Dungannon ahead on 67 minutes but skewed wide from a fantastic position and, though Gormley had tested goalkeeper Niall Morgan a few times at the other end, the Swifts had always looked dangerous going forward and promptly pulled ahead when Chris Lavery was afforded all the time in the world to pick his spot.
That goal finally shook some life into the Reds and they clawed back a point in the contest’s dying embers when Boyce’s low cross was flicked on by Chris Curran, allowing Gormley to touch in at the far post.
CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, McGovern, R Scannell, McMullan, O’Carroll, Smyth, Catney, Gormley, Murray, Doherty, Boyce. Subs: Johnston, Caldwell (for Doherty, 72 mins), Garrett, Donnelly (for O’Carroll, 65 mins), Curran (for Murray, 54 mins).
DUNGANNON: Morgan, McMinn, McCafferty, Grieve, Fitzpatrick, Harpur, Hutchinson, Costello, C Lavery, Hazley, Boyce. Subs: Doyle (for Costello, 71 mins), Brennan, Lowe, Douglas (for Hazley, 44 mins), McCullough.
Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)