Marshall Cup Report

Marshall Cup – Quarter Final 2022

Fivemiletown United 7-3 Lurgan Town

Lurgan Town travelled to Fivemiletown United on Tuesday night, and with numerous absentees, it was a great chance to give young players the chance to show what they can do. Debuts were handed to Daniel Patterson (16), Ben Hendron (16), Adam McCann-Gibbs (14), and a second appearance for Jamie Trainor (14) on the night.

Fivemiletown United found themselves 1-0 down after the first minute, a good through ball seen Simon Freeburn outpace the backline and slip past the keeper to give the Lurgan men the lead. Fivemiletown hit back around the 10th minute with a superb finish beyond Boyce, which seen the forward curling into the top corner. With 25 minutes on the clock, Fivemiletown went in front with a tap in from close range, and with heads dropped from trailing for the first time in the game, it was soon followed with another goal, when a wonderful free kick from the left eluded the Town defence, seeing the forward slam home again from close range to make it 3-1. Patterson and McBride were causing problems for Fivemiletown down each wing throughout the half, backed up from some good play by Adams in the midfield. Just before half time, there was confusion as Niall McBride shot was saved by the keeper and with the view of the players, the ball seemed to cross the line, but was denied by the referee. McBride took matters into his own hands on the stroke of half time, when Jay Gardiner put in a dangerous corner kick, the ball was cleared to the edge of the area, and with time on the ball, McBride controlled the ball in mid-air and volleyed in off the bar in the same motion, one of the goals of the season.

Half Time Fivemiletown United 3-2 Lurgan Town.

The second half started well for Lurgan Town as Davy Trainor, Luke Adams and Jay Gardiner controlled the game in the early stages of the half, and Lurgan looked the more dangerous going forward. Smyth, Hoey, Judge and McPolin looked comfortable in the game and were sniffing out any threat that came their way, backed up by Boyce. A great through ball again released Freeburn one on one, but unfortunately miscued the shot and the defender recovered well. On the 70th minute, Fivemiletown extended their lead, making it 4-2 when the home team broke down the right, and a cross come shot, cannoned off Hoey into the net. McCann-Gibbs , Gardiner and Freeburn were causing problems for the home side, and with Lurgan chasing the game, they committed players forward. Three quick fire goals in 7 minutes, put the tie to bed. However in stoppage time, young Adam McCann-Gibbs rose highest, to power home a brilliant header, from another great delivery by Gardiner, a great achievement to score for the first team and still only in 3rd year in high school.

Lurgan Town can have no complaints with the winners of the game, however the old saying comes into play, the score line didn’t reflect how the game actually played out. Congratulations to Fivemiletown United and best wishes in the Marshall Cup Semi Final, and their upcoming Premier Cup final.

The young players who stripped out can be very proud of their performances, and all four of them will no doubt go on and have bright futures. Its highly important for young players to look on and see their team mates getting a chance at senior level, and WANT to be a part of that, not just games, but with training. The opportunities are there for them to gain experience, and players of a young age should be blooded at every opportunity.

A huge thank you to the squad who travelled on a Tuesday night to Fivemiletown. Ultimately it was a strange decision from the Mid Ulster Football League, but these decisions are something not only our club have become accustomed too.

This was Lurgan Town’s final game of the season, and the players can now look forward to a well-deserved rest. A huge thank you from the senior management for all your hard work over the season, we look forward to seeing you all again soon, as well as some new faces for pre-season.