Limavady United ran out 2-1 victors over Institute in the Craig Memorial Cup Final and in doing so secured their second trophy of the season.
The victory, which was United’s second over the Drumahoe men in a matter of months, means they are now on course for an impressive treble this campaign having already won the NW Senior Cup and currently sit top of Championship Two.
In terrible conditions both sides have to be congratulated for putting on an entertaining cup final at a wind swept Mill Meadow.
Institute in particular have to be praised for their second half display, despite trailing 2-0 and down to ten men, they battled hard and with a bit more luck may have forced the game into extra-time.
The Roesiders missed a golden chance to take the lead on 24 minutes from the penalty spot, after referee John Deighan controversially pointed to the spot after Mark Scoltock had challenged Gareth Tommons inside the box.
After the Stute protests were waved away Cathair Friel was unable to add to his impressive 29 goals this season, when he placed the resulting spot-kick past the post.
Institute were reduced to ten men just after the half-hour mark when Aaron Harkin was shown a straight red card for dissent towards the referee.
Five minutes later and United took the lead when Lee Harkin’s right wing corner found defender Bryan McClelland and he turned the ball home after somewhat of a scramble.
Paul Owens’ side scored a second right on the stroke of half-time following a super counter attack.
Friel, who’s pace and hold-up play meant he was a handful all night, broke clear down the right and his attempted curling effort was kept out by Stute goalkeeper Michael Lynch, but the ball fell perfectly for Gary McFadden and he gleefully made no mistake from close range.
At half-time Stute boss Kevin Deery made a double change when he brought on substitutes Shane McGinty and Sean Roddy to replace the disappointing Ryan Morrow and Garbhan Friel.
Those changes certainly did the trick and despite being down to ten men, the Waterside men were always on top after the break.
However the woodwork came to Stute’s rescue on 52 minutes after Tommons’ long range strike took a deflection before coming back off the post.
Institute deservedly pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Jamie McIntyre’s strike was mis handled by young goalkeeper Ray Kelly.
With their tails up Stute went close to levelling things when McGinty’s effort, which had Kelly beaten, came back off the post.
On 70 minutes United hit the woodwork for a second time when skipper Hugh Carlin saw his close range shot rattled the crossbar.
But in the end the Roesiders, who had defender Andy Devlin sent-off in stoppage time for two bookable offences, ran out winners.
Institute: Lynch, Crown, Scoltock, O’Donnell, Morrow; McCauley, A Harkin, C Harkin; Brown, Friel, McIntyre. Subs: McGinty & Roddy for Friel & Morrow (H-T); Dunne for McIntyre (69).
Limavady United: Kelly, Devlin, McClelland, Carlin, McIvor; McFadden, Tommons, C Harkin, L Harkin, Friel, Morrison. Subs: Owens for Tommons (76).
Referee: Mr John Deighan