Queens dethrowned as Slane make Beckett semis
MONEYSLANE entertained Queen’s in the quarter finals of the Beckett Cup at home last weekend on a cold day and a slippery mucky surface at Rathfriland High School.
Both teams encircled the centre circle for a minutes silence before the game for one of the Club’s main sponsors, DN Tyres, who had a recent bereavement.
Slane got off to the best start possible and on the fourth minute they were rewarded a throw in down the left hand side; Cliffy Sterritt picked out Neil Bingham who nodded it onto the back post and Willy McCahon was on hand to volley into the roof of the net from close distance.
Queens didn’t know what hit them as Slane had the ball in the net a minute later. Sterritt rounded his marker and raced through, placed it wide of the keeper and it rolled over the line much to the delight of his team mates and large crowd up the Slane touch line.
Queen’s composed themselves and had a shot deflected wide for a corner which was safely cleared by the Slane defence. Mark Ervine had an effort charged down and deflected wide for Slane.
Neil Bingham floated in a teasing free kick to the back post and the clearance landed at the feet of Sterritt on the edge of the box and his half volley whizzed just wide of the upright.
With 18 minutes on the clock Thomas McCann found Sterritt with the outside of his boot, he lobbed the advancing keeper and scored a great goal to put Slane three up.
Slane took their foot off the pedal and let the visitors come at them but the Slane defence of Neil Wilson, Willy McCahon, David Boyd and Christopher McConville was strong and dealt with anything that was thrown at them.
Nigel Fry was well protected in the Slane goal until the five minutes before the break when the visitors scrambled the ball over the line from a set piece.
Timmy Graham was introduced to the game at half time as manager Glen Moffett decided to shuffle things around.
The Queen’s keeper pulled off a great fingertip save when Graham raced up the left and crossed to the edge of the six yard box - Sterritt couldn’t believe the keeper saved his effort.
Queens were under pressure and the keeper pulled off two top drawer saves to deny Slane but he could do nothing with a well worked move when Rowan spread the ball wide to Sterritt, who curled it in behind the Queen’s defence and Niblock nipped in to head home from an acute angle.
Timmy Graham rounded his marker with great speed and skill but shot just wide. The visitors had an effort slam of the post with Fry well beaten but Slane held strong at the back to keep them at bay.
John Davenport was brought into the game and strengthened the back four to great effect. Graham had another effort cleared off the line when it looked like he would score and this ended the game and Slane now go through to meet Armagh Rovers in the semis.
Best for Slane on the day was Neil Bingham who was superb on the ball playing some delightful passes to the front men and his work rate was great throughout the game. Thanks to all the supporters who turned up on the day to roar on the team.
Team: N Fry, N Wilson, N Gibbons, W McCahon, D Boyd, M Anderson, N Bingham, A Rowan, M Ervine, C Sterritt, T McCann, J Niblock, J Davenport, C McConville.