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Sunday 01 May 2022
Junior Cup: Bangor YM and Coalisland Athletic face off in final

Bangor YM and Coalisland Athletic will contest the fonaCAB Junior Cup final at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on Monday (kick-off 2pm) with both striving to be crowned junior kingpins for the first time in their respective histories.

NAFL Division 2B side Bangor YM reached the decider after a 2-0 semi-final victory over Crumlin Star II at Solitude. Scoreless for 90 minutes, Danny Frazer's side edged in front early in extra-time through substitute Sam Howell with Billy Cassells making sure with a powerful finish a quarter-of-an-hour later.

Prior to that they accounted for outgoing holders Willowbank in the last eight. Trailing 3-1 after just 18 minutes, they fought back through Chris Crookes' goals either side of the break before Mark Coard bagged the winner with just three minutes remaining.

Crookes also hit two in the fifth-round win over Hill Street while Beragh Swifts, Ballymacash Rangers Reserves, Tollymore United and Cumann Spoirt an Phobail were all clinically despatched in the earlier rounds.

It could prove to be a memorable and few days for the North Down outfit. Not only are they aiming for Junior Cup honours they're also locking horns with Willowbank again later in the week in the NAFL Cochrane Corry Cup final and, on top of that, face Beann Mhádagháin next Saturday in a potential title showdown.

Formed as recently as 2004, Coalisland booked their place in the decider courtesy of a 2-1 defeat of Strathroy Harps at Stangmore Park. Despite going behind early in the second half, David Magee's men levelled through Daryl Magee just short of the hour mark and grabbed the winner right at the end of normal time courtesy of a Sean Corr spot-kick.

Magee and Corr were also amongst the scorers in the 4-1 victory over 2018/19 runners-up Tummery Athletic in the quarter-finals as was leading scorer PJ Lavery, who has 16 league goals to his credit this season.

Indeed, Lavery has been in fine scoring form throughout the competition. He bagged a hat-trick in the fifth round defeat of NFC Kesh and hit a double against East Belfast II in the round before that.

Athletic also got past Height and Richhill Reserves earlier on but needed penalties to get the better of Aquinas II in the opening round way back in September.

Currently fifth th in Mid-Ulster Division 1, Coalisland are six points off the pace but have a game in hand over leaders Ballyoran. Their most recent outing was a narrow defeat to Fivemiletown United in the Marshall Cup.

Tickets for the Junior Cup final final can be purchased using this link: fonaCAB Junior Cup Final

The match will be streamed live on the Irish FA YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss this and many more matches.