LISNAGARVEY 1 ANNADALE 1
(AET, Annadale won on penalty strokes)
Annadale won the Kirk Cup for the fourth time in their history after beating favourites Lisnagarvey on penalty strokes after extra-time.
Despite the threat from the frost, the match began at the scheduled 3.45pm passback after the Denman Ulster Shield final was delayed.
Annadale sustained heavy pressure in the first ten minutes, struggling to maintain any possession in the Garvey half.
The visitors created the first opportunity, Michael Robson released Chris Campbell who blazed his shot high over the bar.
The dragflick from Captain James Cox was run down, Garvey failed to clear but Annadale were unable to get past John Tormey between the posts for Garvey.
The Hillsborough side took the lead following a great run along the right wing and cross from Jason Lynch which was controlled and finished by Irish international Timmy Cockram.
Jonny Moore in the Annadale goal made an outstanding double save from a Cockram dragflick and Greg Thompson follow up.
Lisnagarvey found their rhythm midway through the half. A goal mouth scramble was finally cleared by Peter McKibben.
Great high pressure from Annadale forwards won the ball on Garvey ‘25’ and won a corner but the slip pass couldn’t find Robson.
The visitors were giving the Garvey defence plenty to think about with crash balls into the circle.
Cockram rounded the goalkeeper and instead of shooting tried to lay it on a plate for James Dowling at the back-post but it was played just behind him.
Into the second half and Annadale struggled to cause the home side any problems in defence.
Jonny Moore kept Annadale in the contest with a great save from Ulster under 18 Daniel Nelson’s slap shot at point blank range.
With 15 minutes to go errors began to creep into Garvey’s defence, giving the ball away three times in their own half and giving Dale the chance to break.
Both sides traded spells of possession, as it was end to end stuff with both sides looking for a goal.
With seven minutes remaining, Annadale’s pressure paid off winning two consecutive corners. The first was well saved by Tormey.
But the second was brilliantly put away by captain James Cox, his powerful dragflick into the bottom corner sent the game to extra-time.
Annadale defended wave after wave of Garvey attacks in the first period of silver goal extra-time.
Into the second period of extra-time Raphael combined with Cockram but once again was denied by the brilliant Jonny Moore.
Despite the best efforts of both sides, the game ended 1-1 after extra-time and meant the Kirk Cup would be decided by stokes.
Lisnagarvey Captain Jonny Bell missed the second stroke to give Annadale the advantage, from then on the team from Carryfuff were on their way.
Messrs Cox, Robson, Allister and Roberts all converted and the brilliant Jonny Moore saved another to give Annadale a famous victory.