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Sunday 16 Sep 2018
Strathroy hold on to progress to next round of fonaCAB Junior Cup

Strathroy Harps are through to the next round of the fonaCAB Junior Cup despite hosts Tullymore Swifts staging a comeback equal to anything seen in football at any level.

Harps raced into a seemingly unassailable five-goal lead at the break but were hauled back by a battling second half showing from the Swifts before eventually squeezing through on penalties.

The visitors settled from the first whistle and soon put a disorganised defence to the sword, moving in front after five minutes when Thomas Murphy headed home from a corner from close range.

A second followed on 11 minutes courtesy of a side-footed finish from Sean McDonagh before, a minute later, Caolan McCrossan added number three from around 18 yards.

The scoring continued just after the half-hour mark when the ball broke for Tony Quinn to ram a finish past the home keeper from the edge of the box.

Then, just before the break, Murphy beat three defenders to slam a fifth into the roof of the net to further extend Harps' commanding lead.

Whatever the Tullymore boss said at half-time clearly worked.

The fightback commenced on 50 minutes when Damien Fegan pulled a goal back to be quickly followed by a second from Tomas Murray's close range header after a great cross from the left.

Murray scored his second with just over an hour on the clock. After a solo run he slotted the ball home from a narrow angle.

Swifts pulled another one back three minutes into stoppage time. Murray was upended by keeper Thomasz Antczac inside the box before picking himself up to drive the spot-kick home.

Unbelievably there was still time for Tullymore to draw level when, following an unnecessary challenge, the referee awarded another penalty and, once again, Murray stepped up to score.

Strathroy regained the lead two minutes into extra-time but, four minutes after that, Neil Docherty equalised for Tullymore after spotting the keeper off his line.

Quite a few chances were created in the remaining minutes, but neither side could find the net again.

Penalties then ensued with Strathroy emerging 4-3 winners after Antczac pulled off two great saves during the shoot-out.

Tullymore Swifts 6-6 Strathroy Harps (Strathroy Harps won 4-3 on penalties)

Despite ending up on the losing side Swifts' four-goal man Tomas Murray was named 'man of the match'.