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Sunday 16 Oct 2022
Intermediate Cup gets underway

The 2022-23 McComb's Coach Travel Intermediate Cup got underway at the weekend with no fewer than 47 ties played around the country kicking off what will be a long road to the decider next spring.

The 'tie of the round' saw Ballymena & Provincial Football League leaders St. James' Swifts host NAFL Division 1C side Willowbank, playing in their first season at this level, at Donegal Celtic Park.

Christopher Heaney opened the scoring for Willowbank after 27 minutes, a lead they held until just after the hour when Sean Donnelly levelled for Swifts.

However Heaney struck again for Willowbank ten minutes later to book their place in the next round.

Holders Rathfriland Rangers kicked off their defence with an ultimately comfortable 6-2 home win over Cookstown Youth.

They did briefly fall behind when Kieffer Scott edged the visitors in front on 14 minutes but Ruari Fitzpatrick levelled just a few moments after that before going on to hit another couple all before the midway point in the first half!

Last season's losing finalists, Armagh City, also hit six goals on their way to victory over Grove United at Holm Park.

Scott McCann, Marc McConnell, Stefan Lavery, Harry Anderson [2] and Ruairi Duffy all found the net for Shea Campbell's charges on what was a mixed afternoon for their fellow Premier Intermediate League sides.

Moyola Park made it safely through with a 6-0 thumping of Desertmartin at Mill Meadow and Ballymacash Rangers hit five past Sirocco Works but Bangor needed a Michael Halliday leveller in the 90th minute away to Albert Foundry before the former Glentoran man struck again with the winner early in extra-time.

Dollingstown were taken all the way to penalties by Ards Rangers at Planters Park before scraping through in the shoot-out while Limavady United edged past Crumlin United by the odd goal in five at Mill Road.

However, the PSNI exited the competition on penalties away to Portaferry Rovers, Lisburn Distillery lost 3-2 to Rosemount Rec. while Queen's University and Tobermore United fell to 3-0 defeats against Coagh United and Holywood respectively.

Elsewhere, NAFL Division 1A leaders Dromara Village needed a Stephen Kennedy goal in the third minute of stoppage time to get past Rosario YC while Gabriel Palko grabbed a hat-trick for Mid Ulster Intermediate A leaders Oxford Sunnyside as they came from behind to defeat Ambassadors.

Amongst the other results of note was Tullycarnet's defeat of Linfield Swifts despite finishing the game with ten men, Islandmagee coming out on top of a nine-goal thriller with Cliftonville Olympic, Donegal Celtic and Comber Rec. getting past Carrick Rangers Reserves and Crusaders Reserves and Newbuildings United, highest scorers on the day, hitting seven past Barn United away from home.

Full Intermediate Cup results and fixtures