The closing ten minutes of the South Antrim League’s Ironside Cup final at Stanley Park really set the Boxing Day showpiece alive before Barry Bloomer sealed a late 2-1 win for Taughmonagh YM.
With ten minutes left, the Taughmonagh keeper William Cahoon made a good stop, but it was South Antrim, who had played second fiddle in the second period, who grabbed a lifeline.
They knocked the ball about well before Stevie McNeice took possession and floated the ball into the top corner of the net from 30 yards to put South level with nine minutes left.
It was anyone’s game in the closing frantic minutes but it was Bloomer who seized on the loose ball to ram home what proved to be the winner.
South Antrim had dominated the first-half, quicker to the ball and the underdogs were looking like a team who really wanted to upset the applecart. Taughmonagh, on the other hand, appeared to be in slumber land and expecting their reputation do the talking for them.
Jordan Skates shot from a narrow angle but the ball came back off the outside of the post and Ronan Maguire shot past when well placed.
Taughy’s Jay Nicholson shot well over from 15 yards in a temporary respite for his team, but Maguire’s shot cum pass across the face of the goal could not find anyone to apply the finishing touch.
Just on half-time, South’s keeper Dominic Heron only managed to push a cross out, but Curtis Moorhead shot a long way wide.
Taughmonagh came out after the break in much more determined fashion and Heron made good saves from James Bell and substitute Paul Hill.
Taughy’s pressure paid off when Paul Donaldson finished well from outside the area with 18 minutes of the period gone.
Top scorer for Taughmonagh Robbie Hoy shot wide when he should have done better, but the Young Men still appeared to be heading to victory. But a one goal lead is never comfortable and this was proved correct when McNeice got the equaliser.
Taughmonagh recovered to lift the Cup and they probably just about deserved the triumph.
However, South could have been out of sight at half-time and, for a team who few gave a chance of victory, played their part in an entertaining game.
League chairman, Gerard Prigent, handed over the trophy to Taughmonagh, who were first time winners of the prestigious piece of silverware.