Football: Cookstown Celtic make Foster Cup final thanks to shootout success

Cookstown Celtic's Stephen Devlin in action
Cookstown Celtic's Stephen Devlin in action

Cookstown Celtic 0-0 Sandy Hill

Cookstown Celtic entertained Sandy Hill on Saturday in the semi-final of the Foster Cup and they secured their place in the final in a nailbiting penalty shoot-out.

It was the visitors who settled better and put some pressure on the Celtic defence without creating any clear cut chances.

Celtic soon started to applypressure with a series of corners but they couldn’t find the net.

Celtic had a great chance to take the lead when J McGahan raced clear but his cutback was slightly behind Devlin.

As the half came to a close the visitors broke away and could have opened the scoring only for a last ditch tackle from Harley.

The second half was a cagey affair with neither team able to create any clear cut chances. Celtic thought they should have had a penalty but the referee waved play on.

The visitors then looked like they had the breakthrough when a loose ball in the box looked destined for the Celtic net but a fantastic clearance from Hanna left the scores level as the referee blew for extra-time.

Both teams were now very cautious and reluctant to give any cheap goals away, a wonderful save from O’Neill kept Celtic in it.

In the second period of extra time Celtic broke clear with McGahan in on goal but the visitors keeper handled the ball outside the box to prevent a goalscoring opportunity, but to the surprise of everyone he never received a red card.

This was the last action before the penalty shoot out.

McCloskey, R O’Neill, Kelly and Devlin all tucked away their penalties brilliantly.

Sandy Hill scored their first five and it was left to captain Maguire to keep Celtic in it and he did as he sent the keeper the wrong way as penalties went to sudden death.

Sandy Hill’s sixth kick was saved by O’Neill. Hughes had the chance to win it for Celtic and he coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to secure the victory.

Celtic will now face Donaghmore in the Foster Cup final at Hagan Park, Coagh on Friday 24th April, 6.45pm.