Mid-Ulster Division One side Coalisland Athletic deservedly secured the fonaCAB Irish Junior Cup with a 4-1 win over Bangor Young Men in the final at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Captain Gary Coney lifted the Craig Stanfield trophy aloft along with his team-mates after they swept their NAFL Division 2B opponents aside with some bright, energetic and slick football.
Two goals from Patrick John (PJ) Lavery, a blaster from the lively Daryl Magee and a Sean Corr penalty saw the Tyrone team win the Junior Cup for the first time in their history.
Coalisland started strongly and Ciaran Magee scooped a shot over the top in the fourth minute before Daryl Magee curled a corner inches wide of the far post.
In the ninth minute Athletic took the lead with a well-worked goal. Lavery went on a surging run down the right flank and into the penalty area where he headed for the bye-line and pulled the ball back to Conor Lavery. He failed to connect with the ball, however Daryl Magee was lurking close behind and his ferocious rising shot made the net bulge.
Minutes later Daryl Magee almost had a second. He played a one-two with Shea Coney before letting fly from an angle eight yards out. Bangor YM keeper Jake McCready did well to keep it out with his feet.
Then Stephen Corr produced a clever flick header from a Lavery corner which went inches over the bar. And Coalisland’s next chance saw Stephen Corr fizz a free-kick just over the top.
Coalisland kept the pressure on. PJ Lavery fluffed his lines when he stepped on the ball in a one-on-one with McCready. The clearance fell to Daryl Magee who smashed the ball inches over the top.
Bangor’s first chance came on 21 minutes when Sam Howell’s long range cross to the back post was met by Billy Cassells but his header was off target.
Daryl Magee had another effort on goal, which drifted just wide, before Howell stung the palms of Coalisland keeper Cain Ferguson with a rasping drive.
At this stage Bangor were enjoying more possession. Billy Cassells headed over from a corner, while Mark Coard floated in a free-kick to the back post where Michael Paul drove in a close range shot from a tight angle which Ferguson did well to keep out.
The final action of the first half saw Lavery produce a low blaster from distance which McCready pushed around the post.
After the break Daryl Magee had another shot before PJ Lavery produced a lovely goal to make it 2-0. He picked up the ball down the left wing and outpaced a defender before dinking the ball over the advancing keeper from a tight angle.
Bangor tried hard to get back into it. Howell had a couple of efforts but failed to test the keeper, while the Coalisland defence stood firm.
Coalisland made it three from the penalty spot in the 71st minute. Substitute Conor McAliskey was upended inside the area and Sean Corr stepped up to stroke home the resulting spot kick.
Daryl Magee swept a free-kick inches wide as David Magee’s team went in search of a fourth, while McAliskey drove a couple of shots over the bar.
Bangor pulled a goal back through Coard as the game drew to a close, however Coalisland quickly hit back when PJ Lavery grabbed his second of the game with another fine finish.
Bangor YM: Jake McCready (GK), David Cassells, Courtney Marsh, Michael Paul, Brent Howell, Mark Coard, Matthew McKee, Billy Cassells, Chris Crookes (captain), Sam Howell, Jordan Baxter. Substitutes: (used) Jordan McBride, Michael Lemon; (unused) John Sloan, Mitchell Bruce, Lee Goodwin.
Coalisland Athletic: Cain Ferguson, Gary Coney (captain), Ciaran Magee, Colm Devlin, Paul Coney, Daryl Magee, Conor Lavery, Patrick John Lavery, Shea Coney, Sean Corr, Stephen Corr. Substitutes: (used) Aaron Kerr, Conor McAliskey, Shea Rankin; (unused) Padraig Bell, Colin McNally.