Following a cracking match at Spires Park the Blues exited the Irish cup conceding a last minute goal in extra time.
Irish Cup- Round One:Magherafelt Sky Blues 2 Camlough Rovers 3: The first half was an evenly fought contest with very little to choose between the teams.
Camlough stung the Blues on 10 minutes they scored following a long ball over the Blues defence which their winger seized upon and crossed for the striker to finish.
5 minutes later the Blues almost went 2 down when Conor Monaghan’s clearance hit a Camlough player and ricocheted of the post.
After this the Blues began to get on top with Conor Monaghan and S O’Neill gaining the upper hand in midfield but were finding the Camlough defence a tough nut to crack.
With 30 minutes gone McGuckin was unlucky when his 25 yard free was saved by the keepers knee. A few minutes later Conor Monaghan’s free skimmed the top of the bar. McGuckin was then denied by a superb clearance as he was just about to get his head to cross 2 yards out with the keeper beaten.
The Blues equalised when Ciaran Monaghan stepped inside the defender and unleashed a shot which flew past the keeper.
Camlough almost scored again as their striker broke offside trap and ran through but M O’Neill in the Blues goal forced him wide and Bell was able to stop the resultant shot on the line leaving the half time score 1-1.
The Blues introduced new signing McAlynn at half time and this gave the Blues better balance which resulted in them controlling much of the 2nd half.
The Blues created a lot of good situations but their final ball was letting them down with the Camlough defence holding firm.
McGuckin broke through but was denied by a good save from the keeper, McAlynn then hit the bar, Hawe headed just wide and then McGuckin hit a rasper which unfortunately hit his own player with the keeper beaten.
The Blues though they had won it when Rafferty beat 3 defenders and laid the ball off to man of the match Deccy O’Neill who curled a wonderful shot into the corner of the net in the 89th minute.
With the Blues still in celebratory mood Camlough from the kick off launched a long high ball into the Blues defence which fell kindly for the striker who poked a shot past onrushing keeper O’Neill and the ball trickled to the net despite the best efforts of D O’Neill to reach it.
Extra time ensued and for the first 5 minutes Camlough were pressing hard as the Blues were still feeling dejected after conceding the way they did. The Blues began to settle and once again created numerous promising situations without exploiting them and the game looked like it was heading to penalties.
Disaster struck for the Blues in the lst minute of extra time when after Hawe had headed a Camlough corner clear the ball was crossed in again and an unmarked Camlough player headed home from 6 yards.
Camlough then did what the Blues had failed to do at the end of 90 mins and held out for the remaining minute.
This was a good team performance ruined by a lack of concentration right at the end of 90 minutes and again at the end of extra time.
Deccy O’Neill was the unaminous choice for the Blues man of the match.
TEAM: M O’Neill, Bradley, D O’Neill, Bell, O’Kane, Conor Monaghan, Devlin, Ciaran Monaghan, S O’Neill, McGuckin, Hassan. Subs: McAlynn, Rafferty, Hawe.
Firsts– IFA Irish Cup- Sky Blues 2 Camlough Rovers 3 AET
Reserves- Castle Star 8, Magherafelt Sky Blues 0;
Under 12- Magherafelt Sky Blues 0, Limavady Youth 1
Under 13- Magherafelt Sky Blues 0, Dungannon United Youth 5
Under 13- Crusaders 2, Magherafelt Sky Blues 2
First Team- Dunloy FC v Magherafelt Sky Blues– Saturday 14th September 2pm.
Reserves- Coca Cola Irish Junior Cup– Round One - Silverwood United v Magherafelt Sky Blues – Saturday 14th September 1.30pm.
Under 12- Sion Swifts v Sky Blues– Saturday 11am
Under 13- Glentoran Academy v Sky Blues – Saturday 11am
Under 13- Linfield v Sky Blues–– Wednesday 6.30pm
Under 14- Maiden City v Sky Blues– Saturday 11am
Under 15- Sky Blues v Rathfriland – Saturday 10.30am
Under 16– Sky Blues v Ballymena United - Saturday 11am
The Ground Development Lotto will continue next weekend. No one matched the correct numbers last week. Club Lotto draw. The £25 lucky Dip winner was P Collins.
Jackpot is £1000 for the 3 correct numbers.