CULMORE claimed the Derry & District F.A. Under-11 Cup following a dramatic final against Top of the Hill Celtic at Prehen.
It was a fiercely contested match and it needed extra-time to decide the destination of the trophy. Culmore eventually claimed the spoils but they were pushed all the way by a rather unfortunate Top of The Hill team.
The Waterside boys began positively and it appeared that it would be a one-sided affair and indeed, they could have opened up a two goal cushion only for some fine goalkeeping from Jack Duffy in the Culmore net.
However, on 15 minutes Top of the Hill did manage to take a well deserved lead following a corner on the left. They worked the ball into the penalty area and Jack Malone struck a beautiful shot to the roof of the net.
Top of the Hill completely controlled the game at this stage and could have scored more but somehow Culmore stayed in contention.
On the stroke of half-time Culmore netted an equaliser after a long range effort from Eoin McMullan evaded the keeper and found the back of the net. Culmore were jubilant if not somewhat fortunate to find themselves on level terms at the interval.
The second half was a different story, however. This time Culmore stepped up their game and went in search of a second goal.
Both teams were playing football at a standard that completely belied their age. Each team took it turn to attack but TOTH squeezed in front after some neat play in midfield and a beautiful through ball from Caolan Kelly which completely split the Culmore defence for Conor McGowan to beat the Culmore keeper with a low shot.
Culmore were not to be out-done and they persisted in attack after attack. With time running out James Lynch, playing at outside left, weaved his way into the penalty area only to be brought down by a last ditch tackle. Rachael Barnaby immediately grabbed the ball and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner. With the match tied at 2-2 the contest was to be decided in extra-time.
Both teams were extremely tired at this stage but Culmore seemed to be that little bit fitter and this was really the only difference between both teams.
Culmore had most of the play at this stage and after a fine run on the left and cross by James Lynch substitute Dermott Magee scored the winning goal when he guided the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Magee could have added to the Culmore score line only TOTH goalkeeper, Shay McConomy made a point-blank save to deny him his second goal.
Culmore saw out the remainder of the game and claimed the Under-11 title with a fantastic victory.