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Killymoon Rangers 2
Castle Star 1
Saturday 30th March 2019
Ballymena League - Division 1
2:00pm ko @ Beechway
 
Killymoon Rangers took to the field on Saturday 30th March for their FINAL league game of the 2018/19 season. The club finishing up earlier than usual, mainly due to zero weather postponements this season, and all fixtures being fulfilled promptly.
The Cookstown side hosted last years league & cup rivals Castle Star FC at Beechway Playing Fields, with the home team having noticeable absences in the side due to injuries and work commitments - Missing on the day was Nathan Coyle, Ryan Taylor, Shane Devlin, Declan Campbell, Ryan Smith and captain William Frizelle.
Player/Manager Richard Donaghy was left with no option but to re-shuffle the pack, and ask his squad for a big performance in their last game of the season.
The first half began scrappy with neither team creating much in the way of chances. Goalkeeper Kyle Dobson was tested from 30 yards, but was able to tip the long range shot over the bar to safety. At the other end Eoin Coyle and Christopher McNicholl tested the Castle Star keeper with low efforts, but to no avail either. Half-time 0-0 with little to report.
 
Chris McNicholl
Following the half-time team talk, which saw the Killymoon manager ask for more from his players, the home side did indeed raise their game and began to press Castle Star, earning a number of long throw-ins and corner kicks down the right hand side after some relentless work from Christopher McNicholl and Robert Allen.
Unfortunately for Killymoon the high pressure backfired, and after a lapse in concentration at the back, Castle Star found themselves 1 goal to the good, somewhat of the run of play. (0-1)
Killymoon refused to let this error deter their spirit, and the home team continued with the majority of possession throughout the second half. It wasn't until the 70th minute that this pressure finally paid off. Richard Donaghy, not for the first time this season, getting on the end of a fantastic Dylan Coyle corner kick, nodding home from two yards out. 1-1 with Killymoon in the ascendency.
The pressure continued for Killymoon, however gaps were appearing at the back now, as Killymoon went in desperate search of a winner. Kyle Dobson again called upon at the back to make a last ditch close range save. There was also a goal ruled off-side, which in fairness, there was little complaint about from the Castle Star players or staff. The referee was well positioned and spotted the Castle Star front man 2-3 yards offside when he received the ball in the Killymoon penalty area.
Killymoon continued with the pressure, and the defensive danger was being dealt with very well through Joshua Adams and Dylan Coyle at the back.
Josh Adams
It was through a defensive clearance that Killymoon found their winner, a ball sent long found Warren Smith one-on-one with an outrushing goalkeeper, and from about 40-45 yards Warren calmly lobbed the ball over the charging keeper and it bounced in to the net, just managing to stay under the crossbar as a desperate defender chased it down. The goalkeeper proceeded to unnecessarily wipe out Smith long after the ball had been lobbed, and for his troubles he probably had a little whiplash as the keeper received only a yellow card. None-the-less, a great goal from an experienced, long serving player to put Killymoon 2-1 ahead with only eight minutes remaining.
The home side dug deep and saw out the rest of the game fairly comfortably, earning a very valuable 3 points in the league to ensure they remain in 4th place, at least for now.
The man of the match prize, which was kindly sponsored by Aaron Hall, went to the Killymoon left-back Dylan Coyle after a great defensive performance whilst also providing a great assist for the first goal.
Teams below Killymoon (at present) include Brantwood, Castle Star, Cookstown Youth Colts, Cookstown Olympic , FC Whiteabbey and Desertmartin Swifts. This said, a couple of these teams, have games in hand, so the final league table is yet to be finalised. Feel free to check out the Ballymena Provincial league website for more information on the current standings.



 
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