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Wednesday 06 Apr 2016
Extra time winner sends Institute to Intermediate Cup final

Institute 1-0 Ballyclare Comrades

A Stephen O'Donnell extra-time winner booked Institute a place in this season's Intermediate Cup final with victory over Ballyclare Comrades at Mill Meadow.

The 23-year-old powerfully headed home from 12 yards what proved to be the only goal of the game after 102 minutes. It proved to be a step too far for Ballyclare who, by that stage, had been reduced to nine men.

They lost the services of Johnny McClurg on 66 minutes after a challenge on Ciaran Harkin saw him collect his second caution of the evening. Then, seven minutes from the end of normal time, a similar fate befell team-mate Gary Brown, this time for a foul on substitute Alex Pomeroy.

As might have been expected, given the occasion, both sides sounded the other out during the opening exchanges before, on 23 minutes, Robbie Hume created perhaps the first clear cut effort of the night when he tested Comrades 'keeper Ross McKnight from distance.

At the other end Brown threatened when he broke clear of the defence only to find 'Stute 'keeper Marty Gallagher equal to the challenge. Institute might have snatched the advantage just before the break when first Shane McGinty and then O'Donnell saw close range efforts fall wide of the target.

Gallagher was called into action again early in the second half to thwart Brown twice in quick succession in an entertaining game that ebbed and flowed. The chances continued with Mark Scoltock going close for 'Stute on 62 minutes only to head wide from a Sean Roddy free-kick.

Despite losing a man with McClurg's dismissal Ballyclare almost grabbed the winner as the game moved into the final ten minutes when Chris Trussell just missed converting an Adam McCart ball into the box.

Moving into extra-time, Hume might have blasted Institute in front on 92 minutes with a terrific 10-yard effort which was met by an equally terrific McKnight save. However, that proved to be little more than a stay of execution to the Comrades when they eventually succumbed to O'Donnell's winner some ten minutes later.

Ballyclare Comrades: McKnight, Woods, Shannon, McClurg, McCart, McQuitty, O'Hanlon, Dobbin, Trussell, Brown, Haskins subs McCullough, Simpson, McDermott, Crowe, E. Hill

Institute: Gallagher, Roddy, Hume, O'Donnell, Scoltock, C. Harkin, Browne, McMenamin, McGinty, McIntyre subs Mills, Pomeroy, Jarvis, McLaughlin, Lynch