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Brilliant Benburb Storm into Challenge Cup Next Round

As parts of Scotland braced themselves for the approaching Storm Babet, New Tinto Park braced itself for some cup action between Benburb and Auchinleck Talbot Development in a contest which saw the hosts book their ticket for the next round of the competition following an impressive and hard fought 4-2 victory over the visitors from the Southwest.

Despite the cold weather present in Glasgow’s Southside, the fixture was fiery, with Matthew Harrison’s head knock in the first two minutes resulting in him dawning a Terry Butcher-esque bandage being an early indicator of what was to come in this game.

By the 13th minute, Auchinleck had been forced into two changes, with the aforementioned Harrison not being able to continue, and Lewis Milligan had to be brought off because of another injury.

The bad luck would only continue for Talbot as in the 25th minute, arguably against the run of play, the home side would race into the lead when striker Corey Murray would take advantage of a lapse in concentration at the back and make no mistake with his perfectly executed lobbed finish to make it 1-0.

Benburb would go on to compile more misery just two minutes after the opener. Evan Higgins played a ball through which picked up more speed than usual thanks to the wet playing surface and it was Murray again who would get onto the end of it and put the ball into the net despite the keeper getting all he could on it. 2-0 Benburb.

Just when it looked like things could not get any worse for Talbot, winger Kyle Bryden went down injured off the ball. Information from the stands suggested that the player had recently recovered from an A.C.L injury, which made his subsequent substitution all the harder to see. Everyone at YFS wishes Kyle a speedy recovery and hopes to see him back on the pitch in the not-so-distant future.

Despite being two goals behind, and forced into three changes, it would be Auchinleck who grabbed the next goal when right-back Sol McCluskie swung a ball in from deep to Alex Nimmo. The forward rose like a salmon to loop a header over the goalkeeper and give his side hope going into the half-time interval and halved the deficit to make the score 2-1.

Benburb would hit back though just as the referee was about to blow for the break following their set play routine. Lochlan Bennett’s free kick would go through the wall and the goalkeeper could only get so much behind his save but not enough to stop it from spilling to the feet of the man of the hour Corey Murray who bagged his hat trick before the sides had even swapped halves and restore his side’s two-goal advantage to make it 3-1.

The second half showed the desire both teams had to advance into the latter stages of this competition, with players from both sides getting carried away and stopping the momentum of the match due to the concession of fouls to stop either team from getting in their stride.

The red card eventually had to be shown 15 minutes into the half when Bennett of Benburb would receive two yellows in rapid succession for handbags with an opposing player, followed by dissent by mouth towards the match official.

With the man advantage Talbot would attack and with ten minutes to go they would find their way back into the tie when McCluskie would again whip the ball in, this time from a free kick, for captain Jack Hanlon to be the first to meet it in the air and set the game up for an exciting climax as he headed in to make it 3-2.

However, just as the game entered additional time Benburb fancied one more so they could relax. Luke Lickrish retained the ball well on the edge of the box and played through his strike partner Murray who was only going to score as he latched onto the ball and calmly slotted the ball in to stamp his side’s ticket into the next round as he removed his shirt in the wild celebrations which ensued as he had all but secured the 4-2 victory for Benburb.

The drama would end shortly after, but not before Nimmo would receive a red card from the referee to even the number of players shortly before the referee would blow his whistle for the final time as Benburb would advance to the next round following a resilient 4-2 victory over visitors Auchinleck Talbot.

Benburb Player of the Match: Corey Murray

Benburb’s player of the match could only go to one man, and it had to be the man up top, Corey Murray. The clinical striker scored every goal for his side and proved to be a proper nuisance in the final third, scoring four different types of goals and making sure the Talbot defence had their work cut out for them.

Auchinleck Talbot Player of the Match: Sol McCluskie

Talbot’s player of the match today was right back, Sol McCluskie. McCluskie chipped in with two assists for his side and they tried to come back from behind, whilst also proving to be hard to beat and gave his side a touch of security and he nullified attacks stemming from his side of the park.

Benburb U20s

1. Lewis Young

2. Jack Lowis

3. Matthew Montgomery

4. Jed Connell

5. Curtis Smith

6. Lochlan Bennett

7. Joshua McNairn

8. Jamie Carbin

9. Luke Lickrish

10. Samuel Smith

11. Jac Campbell

12. Evan Higgins

13. Nathan Welsh

14. Jayden McGivern

15. Declan Green

16. Corey Murray

17. Mikey Jamieson

18. Ashton Dunamore

Auchinleck Talbot U20s

1. Ciaran Boyes

2. Sol McCluskie

3. Mark Hanlon

4. Jack Hanlon

5. Lewis Milligan

6. Matthew Harrison

7. Kyle Bryden

8. Zac Kean

9. Lyle Milliken

10. Alex Nimmo

11. Kyle Dunnet

12. Marcus Ahrens

14. Callum Wilson

15. Alfie McFarlane

16. Daniel Mitchell

17. Matthew Hollin

18. Alfie Stewart

21. Morgan Stewart



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