Glengad United became the first Inishowen team in four years to lift the Gregory Kearney Champions’ League trophy with a deserved victory over Clifton Villa at Brandywell on Tuesday night.
After a cagey opening, the game burst into life as Jason Blackburn got in behind the Glengad defence and crossed to Colin Murray, but his header was easily claimed by Gerard Crossan.
Glengad replied and when David McGilloway turned a dipping Patrick McDermott effort behind for a corner the unmarked, John G. McLaughlin headed over.
Midway through the half Jason Doherty won a tackle on the edge of the Villa area to release Terence Doherty but his left footed effort was saved by McGilloway.
Glengad were on top at this stage and deservedly took the lead on 33 minutes after Stephen McLaughlin raced clear to fire low and hard past McGilloway from 14 yards.
Six minutes later Terence Doherty out-paced the central defender but McGilloway got enough on the ball to prevent it crossing the line and his defence completed the clearance.
Glengad began the second half with the first chance on 51 minutes with McLaughlin releasing Terence Doherty but his time he was denied by a superb Gerard Kelly tackle.
Villa then enjoyed a purple patch and on 52 minutes Harkin raced onto Kelly’s pass but Crossan saved well.
Minutes later a superb throughball from James Boyd found Harkin in the clear and his effort clipped the outside of the post and went wide.
Their pressure finally told on 63 minutes when Villa equalised after a brilliant move.
Harkin flicked inside to Boyd whose cross found Chris Monteith and he headed to the top corner.
Then on 75 minutes Glengad regained the lead with another brilliant goal.
Terence Doherty collected possession 30 yards out and ran past two defenders before firing past McGilloway.
In the final five minutes Glengad spurned two great chances and they almost paid the price four minutes into stoppage time when Murray’s powerful shot crashed off the bar and away to safety.