Intermediate Roundup

The quarter-finals of the Match on Tuesday Intermediate Cup took place on Saturday as we edge closer to the big final at Windsor Park in May. We start our roundup of the action at The Dub where competition holders Queens University continued their defence of the trophy against Lurgan Town.

Queens University 5 Lurgan Town 0

Peter Thompson’s Queens side went into Saturday’s game as big favourites against a team sitting mid-table two leagues below them in the Mid-Ulster League Intermediate B.  It took just two minutes to open the scoring when Connor Mulholland escaped the attention of several Lurgan defenders and sent the ball past Tyler Boyce in goals for the visitors.

Despite taking the early lead it was not until the 19th minute when the lead was doubled when Queens star man Matthew Hughes crossed from the left for Chris Middleton to score. Mulholland and Middleton both had time to double their respective tallies before the break sending Queens into the changing room 4-0 ahead.

To Lurgan’s credit they came out in the second half willing to attack but the danger of this was it allowed Queens space to attack on the break and eventually a fifth goal did arrive when Matthew McManus headed home Joshua Corry’s deflected pass.

Banbridge Rangers 3 Dollingstown 1

Premier Intermediate League (PIL) strugglers Dollingstown met Banbridge Rangers at Cheney Park with the match presenting something of a banana skin for Stephen Uprichard’s side, as Rangers had only lost one game in the Mid-Ulster League Intermediate A this season.

There were no goals in the first half of the game with the visitors going the closest in the 10th minute when an Elliot Rea effort struck the Rangers post. It was Rangers who managed to break the deadlock ten minutes into the second half when Stuart Mallen got beyond the Dollybirds’ defence and finished well.

The visitors got themselves back into the game when James Mitchell was brought off the bench for his first-team debut and he made an immediate impact when his effort on goal took a deflection and nestled in the Rangers’ net. Dollingstown were then denied by the woodwork for the second time of the match when Colin Cunningham’s strike hit the crossbar.

At that point, it looked more like the PIL side were going to be heading to the semi-finals but Stuart Mallen managed to edge Rangers back in front in the 78th minute with a similar goal to his first.  The win was wrapped up in added time when Adam Loughlin kept his cool to score when put through on goal.

Newbuildings United 2 Portstewart 3

PIL Portstewart made the short trip to Newbuildings to take on a Newbuildings United side currently sitting in 2nd place in the Northern Ireland Intermediate League. Any hopes of an upset were all but ended by half-time as the Seahawks were two goals ahead through two Thomas Elder penalties.

United did manage to pull a back in the second half but Elder completed his hat-trick and made it 3-1 to Portstewart. United pulled a further goal back but it was too little too late and Johnny Law’s side now have a semi-final to look forward to.

In the other game that was played on Saturday PIL side Annagh United met Amateur League Premier Division team Crumlin Star. Goals from Jackson Holmes and Craig Taylor had United 2-0 up but the match was abandoned following an injury to Crumlin Star’s Paul Prigent, we all wish Paul a speedy recovery.