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Rashenny fight back as Glengad pay penalty 23.02.12
Donegal Signs Reserve Shield semi-final

Glengad Reserves 2
(G. Kelly, S. McLaughlin)

Rashenny Reserves 2
(Ivers, M. Doherty)

Rashenny won 6-5 on penalties

Caoimhinn Barr reports from the Crua. Photos: Herbie Barr.

Rashenny Reserves produced a stirring comeback to recover a two goal second-half deficit before defeating Glengad Reserves on penalties in an exciting Shield semi-final clash on Sunday morning.
Michael Doherty was the very definition of an impact substitute for the Isle of Doagh men, coming off the bench to head in a late leveller before scoring the winning spot-kick in a dramatic shootout after Glengad’s Michael Farren drove his sudden death effort wide.
Midfielder Christy Ivers had given Rashenny hope, pulling one back with twenty minutes remaining after Glengad had earlier raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of a Gary Kelly strike and a Stephen McLaughlin penalty.
To their immense credit, Reserve Division One leaders Rashenny never looked out of the game and fought back superbly before running out deserving winners in the end. Reward for their effort is a showpiece final date with the high-flying Aileach second stringers.
Two-up with a little over twenty minutes to go following McLaughlin’s spot-kick, Roy Kelly will feel his Glengad team should have been able to hold on for a Maginn Park final appearance but the Crua men ultimately paid the price for defending too deep, inviting Rashenny onto them time and again as the game drew to a close.
In freezing conditions, including hail showers at the Crua, it was the visitors who started the game the brighter.
An early Damian Friel corner for Rashenny was headed wide by Glengad’s Kevin McColgan before, at the other end, Gary Kelly was thwarted by a well-timed Paul McConalogue slide tackle.
Benefiting from a deflection off referee Eddie Ivers, Rashenny midfielder Kevin Noone half-volleyed wide from distance with Johnny Toland’s effort blocked soon after.
Continuing the early end-to-end pattern of play, Glengad were next to threaten with visiting keeper Shaun Friel quickly off his line to deny Gary Kelly after a raking pass on the left by Ronald McDaid.
A curling McDaid free-kick was then headed narrowly wide by Glengad defender Stephen McLaughlin before, midway through the opening period, the hosts hit the front.
A long kick-out by home keeper Michael McLaughlin was expertly flicked on by Niall McLaughlin with Ruairi Kelly squaring for Gary Kelly to fire left-footed past Shaun Friel from twelve yards.
The goal almost sparked an immediate Rashenny response with Kevin Noone skipping past two players on the right before crossing for Johnny Toland to arrow wide from eight yards.
Ending the first-half on the front foot, Glengad then spurned a great chance to double their advantage with Gary Kelly denied by the legs of Rashenny keeper Shaun Friel after racing clear of the visitors’ defence.
Glengad wideman Ruairi Kelly then headed a Brian Doherty cross over the top before Rashenny keeper Friel bravely denied Niall McLaughlin, clasping the ball from the feet of the striker.
Stephen McLaughlin then headed a Doherty corner narrowly wide as the first-half drew to a close.
Rashenny Reserves began the second-half in more positive vein with Kevin Noone volleying over from 20 yards before Damian Friel set-up Johnny Toland, who fired inches off target from a similar distance.
Glengad duo Niall McLaughlin and Gary Kelly then combined brilliantly to carve out a great chance for Ruairi Kelly but he was unable to keep his half-volley down from eight yards.
Rashenny midfielder Damian Friel was then unable to get on the end of a Kevin Noone cross before substitute Michael Doherty skewed wide after collecting John Doherty’s clever pass.
After Phelim Noone drove over from thirty yards, the Isle of Doagh men were rocked on their heels after Glengad were awarded a controversial penalty.
Rashenny keeper Shaun Friel raced from his line and tripped Glengad dangerman Gary Kelly inside the area. Initially referee Eddie Ivers did not point to the spot but after consulting with linesman Stephen Deeney he gave the award.
Home defender Stephen McLaughlin strode forward and fired the penalty in off the post to double his team’s advantage after 66 minutes.
But rather than consolidate their position in front of a sizeable crowd at the Crua, the Premier League Reserve men surrendered an equaliser less than five minutes later.
Pushing forward from the back, defender Paul McConalogue saw his shot deflected perfectly into the path of Christy Ivers, who half-volleyed into the net from fourteen yards to spark a Rashenny comeback.
A Kevin Noone run and shot flew just wide of Michael McLaughlin’s post as the visitors pinned the hosts back with the time ticking down.
Six minutes from the end of normal time the Trawbreaga Park men deservedly levelled. Ivers was involved again, crossing to the back post where super sub Michael Doherty looped a header back over McLaughlin’s head into the Glengad net to spark scenes of wild celebration on the visitors’ bench.
The visitors could have grabbed a winner before extra-time but Johnny Toland fired off target.
Extra-time produced little in the way of clear cut chances though Glengad midfielder Kevin McColgan almost grabbed an unlikely winner when his cross from the right struck Shaun Friel’s crossbar.
In the ensuing shootout Friel was the hero, saving Gary Kelly’s penalty after Johnny Toland had earlier driven wide. Glengad defender Michael Farren then missed the target, giving Michael Doherty the chance to grab the headlines, which he duly did.
Rashenny march on to face Aileach in the Reserve Shield Final.

Glengad Res: Michael McLaughlin, Edward Kelly, Ronald McDaid, Michael Farren, Stephen McLaughlin, Kevin McColgan, Brian Doherty, Darren Doherty, Niall McLaughlin, Gary Kelly, Ruairi Kelly. Subs: Declan Farren, Stephen Doherty, Christopher Doherty, Shane Kelly, Conor Farren, Daniel Mularkey.

Rashenny Res: Shaun Friel, Peter Doherty, Corney McCole, Phelim Noone, Paul McConalogue, Damian Friel, Christy Ivers, Kevin Noone, Anthony Doherty, John Doherty, Johnny Toland. Subs: Michael Doherty, Eamon McColgan, Brendan Grant, Gary Doherty.

Man of Match
Ronald McDaid and Gary Kelly caught the eye for Glengad while Michael Doherty, Damian Friel, Kevin Noone and John Doherty excelled for the visitors. The award though goes to Rashenny’s industrious midfielder Christy Ivors, who was involved in both goals and scored in the penalty shootout. A fine display.

Key Moment
Christy Ivors’ goal, just minutes after Glengad went two-up, handed the Isle of Doagh men a lifeline. That strike set the stage for super sub Michael Doherty to head in a fine leveller before cooly slotting past McLaughlin with the winning penalty in the shootout.

Ref Watch
Eddie Ivers caused some consternation on the Rashenny bench but he was ultimatley correct to award Glengad a second-half penalty. Didn’t stop the game unnecessarily, allowing both sets of players to get on with it.

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