Steel and Sons Cup quarter-final

Immaculata FC 2 - 1 Crumlin United

HOPES remain for Immaculata after beating Crumlin United this weekend to go through to the semi-finals of the Steel and Sons Cup. This comes a week after the West Belfast side lost out in the Border Cup to Derriaghy in a close penalty shootout.

Crumlin put up a good show of it, keeping Mac’s forwards busy with some solid defending, and fought hard for the win themselves, in a game that could have gone either way up until the Mac’s final goal three minutes before the end to seal the win.

The game opened up with both teams fighting hard, leading to a few heated tackles, which resulted in Gary McVicker being given a yellow card in the ninth minute for a tackle on Nathan Watters.

Crumlin got an early goal in, after 14 minutes, with Nathan Watters outpacing the Mac’s defence and get around 'keeper Ruairi Murray and nip it into the back of the net.

Mac attempted a fight back, getting up close to the goal with Brian Kennedy and Logan Brady both having a go on goal, but they were deflected. Crumlin next had two goes themselves, a shot from Andrew Mooney which hit the left side of the net and one from Patrick McCafferty which went over the top.

More chances came and went for both sides, with roughly equal possession between them. Mac had another two chances, one going over and another being saved by Crumlin’s ‘keeper Marcin McDevitt. Crumlin then had a great chance when Crumlin’s Andrew Flood took a shot, but it went wide to the left hand side of the net.

GOING FOR GOAL: The Mac's Brian Kennedy takes a shot at goal

GOING FOR GOAL: The Mac's Brian Kennedy takes a shot at goal

Crumlin’s Scott Adams was injured in a bad tackle 39 minutes in and had to be carried off by a physiotherapist and a teammate, being replaced with Sean Wallace.

In the last minute of the first half Mac equalised with a brilliant close-up goal from Edward Begley, putting both teams on an even footing for the beginning of the second stretch.

Mac began the second half with an all-out attack, putting the pressure on Crumlin’s defence who fought hard in order to hold off their advance. Michael Fisher, Brian Kennedy and Gary McVicker had three on goal but all were saved by Crumlin’s 'keeper McDevitt.

Mac made a substitution after 55 minutes, with Reece McGinley coming on Emmet Fallon. The West Belfast men made another substitution at 68 minutes with Padraig Adams coming off and James Haughey coming on.

The game continued on with the Mac attack having petered out for the remainder of the second half, with both teams not having much luck with their chances. That all changed however in the 87th-minute when Ben McCaul scored a brilliant goal to outsmart Crumlin’s 'keeper McDevitt and take the lead, the scoreline now being 2-1.

Both the Mac and Crumlin both made substitutions in the final minutes, in a bid to maintain their lead for Mac, and to get even for Crumlin. Sean McGovern came on with Gary McVicker coming off for Mac, and Crumlin made a double substitution with Fintan O’Boyle and Daniel Jackson coming off for Conall Cunningham and Owen McKeown.

The match ended shortly after, Mac’s victory confirmed, putting them on their way to the semi-final of the Steel and Sons Cup.

IMMACULATA FC: R Murray, P Adams, M Fisher, E Begley (goal 45 minutes), B McCaul, C O’Riordan, B Kennedy, G McVicker, B McCaul (goal 87 minutes), L Brady, E Fallon

Subs: S McGovern, J Haughey, R McGinley

CRUMLIN UNITED: M McDevitt, A Flood, P McCafferty, P Lenaghan, S Adams, R Dougherty, N Watters (goal 14 mins), C Caldwell, F O’Boyle, A Mooney, D Jackson

Subs: C Cunningham, O McKeown, S Wallace