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Friday 07 Apr 2023
Crumlin Star and St Oliver Plunkett set for McComb's Coach Travel Intermediate Cup final

Crumlin Star and St Oliver Plunkett will contest this season's McComb's Coach Travel Intermediate Cup final following last four victories over East Belfast and Rosemount Rec respectively. 

NAFL Premier Division side Crumlin Star were first to book their place in the 25 April decider on Tuesday evening with victory over East Belfast at Inver Park in Larne.

East Belfast raced into an early lead when, after just three minutes, Daryl Evans found the net after being picked out by Nathan O'Neill. 

That was how it stayed until just after the hour. After a period of pressure Star finally found the equaliser courtesy of James Doyle, who tucked the ball home following Kevin Lynch's lay-off.

Then, just four minutes into extra time, Lynch grabbed what proved to be the winner after rising to meet a Barry McKervey cross from the left to power home a header past keeper Aaron Carberry.

On Wednesday night NAFL Division 1B outfit St Oliver Plunkett secured their spot in the final via a penalty shoot-out defeat of Rosemount Rec at the Blanchflower Stadium.

St Oliver Plunkett seized the early advantage through Conor Nolan on eight minutes before a flurry of goals midway through the first half.

Reece Ritchie levelled for Rosemount on 25 minutes with a superb solo effort. He jinked his way past several defenders before finishing low into the left corner. 

Curtis Giltrap then edged Rosemount into the lead eight minutes after that, but Plunkett hit back just 60 seconds later through Eugene Reid.

However, with the remainder of normal time followed by extra time producing no further goals, the sides were subjected to the drama of penalties to settle the tie.

Plunkett kept their nerve to emerge 3-1 victors with Michael Healy, Ciaran Reid and keeper Deaglan McMahon all finding the net.

It means the final will be an all-Belfast affair, with Crumlin Star representing the north of the city and Plunkett the west.

The decider is set to be played on Tuesday 25 April at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, with a kick-off time of 7.45pm.