Bob Radcliffe Update As Semi Finalists Are Known

After the 1/4 Finals of the Bob Radcliffe Cup were all completed last weekend the 4 Semi Finalist are Banbridge Town, Bourneview Mill, Dungannon Swifts U20 and Dollingstown.

The draw will be made in the next week or so and the Semi Final dates will probably be Saturday 1st December but this will all be confirmed in due course as the teams look to getting to the festive Boxing Day showpiece at Lakeview Park in Loughgall.

Dollingstown are the most recent winners from the teams remaining as the trimphed in the 2016/17 season with victory over Coagh United and the dollybirds also reached the final in the 2013/14 season when they narrowly lost on a penalty shootout against Armagh City.

Banbridge Town have won the competition on 2 occasions, firstly way back in the 1980/81 season when they defeated by Newry Town and more recently in the 2010/11 season when they overcame Rathfriland Rangers. They have also been runnersup on 4 occasions so have a great pedigree.

Dungannon Swift reserves or now called U20’s won the Bob Radcliffe Cup back in the 2005/06 season defeating Coagh United.

Bourneview Mill have never reached the final so will be looking to make a 1st for the club.

Dollingstown Rip Up The Form Book To Seal Bob Radcliffe Semi Final Spot

DFC welcomed league leaders Annagh Utd to Planters Park in quarter final of Bob Radcliffe Cup and set about the challenge in a very mature manner with a high pressing tempo despite playing against a strong wind in the first half.

Andy McMath set up Richy Thompson as early as the third minute and cross shot went wide and same player fired over on 20 minutes after a teasing cross from the right but a minute later from another identical cross Scott Adams met it well at the back post and from an acute angle his shot found the back of the net off the keeper.

Annagh almost pulled one back few minutes later when a delightful through ball from Henderson found the normally prolific McCordick but his effort was off target.

DFC started the second half as they finished the first half on the front foot and Glen Hand once again delivered from the right wing for Adams to head home at the back post yet again as the Annagh defence were caught cold.

Thompson then scored number 3 when he beat keeper McParland to the ball and lobbed it into the empty net and at this stage it looked all over but Annagh got back into the game on 75 minutes with a wonderfully worked break away team goal and few minutes later after a good save from Stephen Croft it was his mistake that allowed Annagh to score their second goal.

Then on 94 minutes Annagh equalised to take the game into extra time with both sets of players out on there feet.

Davy Richmond and Stephen Jones made way for Ryan Gourley and Nathan Lavery as DFC looked to regain composure and control of the game and it was that man Adams who tenaciously kept the ball in play on the left wing and crossed for sub Gourley to hammer in at the back post.

Michael Denver then came on for Thompson as DFC held out on the final minutes to put themselves into the semi final.

Credit to both teams who fought a good battle with each other and who have it all to do again in 2 weeks time again at Planters Park in the league where DFC will be hoping for same performance in there battle to move off the bottom of the table.

Thanks to Euro Springs Ltd from Dungannon for sponsoring the match today.


It Takes Penalties To See The Dollybirds Into The Next Round Of The Mid Ulster Shield

Armagh Rovers 2:2 Dollingstown Res (Dtown win 4.3 on penalties) Mid Ulster Shield

For the second consecutive week, our Reserves faced first team opposition, this time in the Mid Ulster Shield, against a strong and capable Armagh Rovers at Ardmore.

The anomaly of the Shield meant neither side had met previously but Dtown were aware of the recent stature of Rovers, competing in Div 1 until recently, and having won the league and 4 cups last year in the Lonsdale league.

On the back of the excellent team performance in the previous week, Dtown named an unchanged team apart from two enforced changes and began the game in a similar containing manner.

However, after 10 minutes Dtown re-shuffled their formation with a view to pressing higher, and got their rewards almost immediately when, following a cross from the right, Bennett was able to swivel and finish from 15 yards to give Dtown an early lead.

Rovers were threatening with pace and remained so all afternoon, and it was this pace from their right winger that drew a foul 25 yards out, subsequently headed home excellently by their commanding centre half, to level the score, that on the balance of chances created was fair.

The game ebbed and flowed for the next 20 minutes, with Dtown dominating possession and creating several half changes, with Ewins hitting the post and Armstrong’s wayward follow up blocked, as Dtown began to exert pressure.  However, frequently Rovers were allowed the space to break and Croft was called on, on several occasions to be prompt and alert to keep the scores level. In the final 15 minutes of the first half, Dtown got their rewards for some fine pressure when striker Ewins rounded the goalkeeper, unselfishly squaring to captain Wright for a tap in to restore the lead.

This seemingly looked like the catalyst for Dtown to control the game, but credit to Rovers, their counter attack play posed problems all afternoon, and once again, their right winger was the architect for their equaliser on half time, as he weaved too easily around two challenges before releasing for a 5 yard finish leaving Croft no chance.

Half Time 2:2

The second half saw much of the same with Dtown dominating possession, but in truth struggling to break down a resilient back line and lacking creativity and sharpness to expose the home side, and were reliant on a fantastic save from Croft to deny the counter-attacking Rovers from edging ahead.  In the last minute of normal time, Wright met a volley perfectly from 10yards, only to be superbly saved from MotM Graham in the Rovers net, who consistently denied Dtown.

Full Time 2:2

Extra time had seemed inevitable and on the balance of chances missed, it seemed it would be one of those days for Dtown who despite entirely dominating the extra time period, laboured to create that golden chance that would seal the win.  Armstrong hit the post from range, with the rebound striking the goalkeeper and settling in his arms, and despite the energy of R Taylor and J Irwin, Dtown could not muster the chance to win the game outright. Onto Penalties

Penalties:  S Wright, M Duffy, S Armstrong and D Bennett all scored, N Forsythe effort excellently saved.  Croft made an important stop at 3.3 before Rovers missed their final effort.

Full Time (AET) 2:2 Dtown win 4.3 on penalties

Overall, a laboured performance against a rugged and resolute Rovers side.  Despite dominating possession, Dtown will need to be conscious of two lapses in concentration letting the home side back into the game, and must discover their fluidity that has served them well to date.

Many thanks to Armagh Rovers for a competitive game, where a draw seemed absolutely the fair result, and for the hospitality and food after.  Best of luck for your season ahead.

Squad:  Croft, Hill, Cartwright, Forsythe, Armstrong, Houston, E Taylor, Wright, Allen, Bennett, A Ewins, Duffy, Irwin, D Ewins, Branker, R Taylor

Region’s Cup Update | Final Games On Wednesday Evening With All To Play For

The IFA Region’s squad go into Wednesday evenings last group game with Russia (South Region – Chayka) in confident mood after getting their 1st win in the competition yesterday after beating Macedonia (Amateurs FYR Macedonia) 1-0 at the National Stadium.

In NI’s 1st game they were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Portugal (FC Braga) at Stangmore Park.

With all to play for the final Games will take place on Wednesday evening, with NI vs Russia being played at Glenavon’s Mourneview Park and Macedonia vs Portugal being played at Shamrock Park, the home of Portadown FC.

Entrance is only £3 and concession are free so get along to support NI in Lurgan on Wednesday evening and both games have a 7.30pm KO.

Good luck to Richy Thompson and the rest of the squad.

It’s Bryansburn Rangers II in Round 3 of the Fonacab Irish Junior Cup

Dollingstown Reserves have been given a home game in the 3rd round of the Fonacab Irish Junior Cup with Bryansburn Rangers II visiting Planters Park.

The games will be played on Saturday 24th November 2018 with a 1.30pm KO

The full draw:

St Malachys OB v Rubys Rovers
St Oliver Plunkett v Loughgall Reserves
Sandyhill v Strathroy Harps
Clough Rangers v Irvinestown Wanderers
Belfast Celtic YM v Harryville Homers
Ford or Tullyally Colts v Dundela Reserves
Bessbrook United v Donaghadee
Annalong v Sporting Lisburn
Tummery Athletic or Shamrock v Kelvin OB
Omagh Hospitals or Enniskillen Athletic v Newry Celtic
Rossowen v Kashmir
Antrim Rovers v Finaghy
Newhill v Greenisland
Rosario YC II v Tandragee Rovers Reserves
Ballybogey v St Matthews
FC Whiteabbey v Caledon Rovers
Dollingstown Reserves v Bryansburn Rangers II
Newbuildings United Reserves or Moneyslane Reserves v Eglinton
St Marys YC II v NFC Kesh
Lower Shankill v Willowbank
Ballinamallard United Reserves v Enniskillen Town United or Ardmore
Armagh Blues v Beann Mhadaghain
Bangor Rangers v Abbeyview
Dervock v Rathcoole
Portrush v Mountjoy United or Castle Star
Connor v Foyle Wanderers
Bangor YM v Lisnarick or Strule United
Enniskillen Rangers v St Teresas
Ballykeel v Nortel
Newington Reserves v Ahoghill Thistle
Aghadowey v Hill Street
Heights v Rockview United

Dollingstown Run Out Winners In Local Intermediate Cup Derby

It was good to welcome our neighbors Oxford Sunnyside to Planters Park for this Match Intermediate Cup match having such a prestigious record in mid ulster football over the years with very notable players wearing the white shirt during that time.

Manager Stephen Uprichard made some changes in an effort to restore confidence and credit to Oxford they set a high tempo in the opening period before DFC ran out easy winners in the end.

Davy Richmond opened the scoring on the half hour with his first goal for the club and this was immediate followed by Nathan Lavery tapping in from a Glen Hand cross before Oxford got one back before half time when a free kick came off the bar before bring forced over the line.

In the second half it was largely all DFC as there overall fitness told and skipper Aaron Moffett settled nerves with a firm header from a corner and Lavery should have stretched this further when one on one with the keeper who stood tall to make the save.

Moffett then scored from the penalty spot after Josh Norton making his final appearance for the club before going to London to work was upended in the area.

Scott Adams then scored another header from a corner before Jake Redpath, Norton and Hand made way for Chris Coleman, Davy Gray and Ryan Gourley.

Moffett then scored goal number 6 and his first hat trick for the club during his long 11 year service to the club.

Gray almost made it 7 in the final minutes with a cheeky lob from way out on the left which just bounced over the bar.

We would like to thank Rapid International for the Matchday Sponsorship and also thanks to Finney Bros Ltd for sponsoring the Matchball.

Next Saturday DFC host league leaders Annagh Utd in the Bob Radcliffe cup.

Dollybirds Go Down With Heads Held High As They Exit The Marshall Cup

Dollingstown Res 0:4 Valley Rangers (Marshall Cup)

Our reserves faced a very strong Valley Rangers first team on Saturday, and produced arguably their best performance of the season, given the context of the game.

We entered the Marshall Cup by default as our first team are no longer eligible, and when the draw was made, it was a game we were looking forward to, but fully aware we were facing and incredibly strong team, and one of the competition favorites.

Dtown prepared midweek on a plan to try and contain Valley, which was full circle from their normal style of play, and the challenge was whether this young side could adapt.

Determined to take the game in 20 minute stages, Dtown remained concentrated in the opening period. Understandably under pressure from the very threatening Valley front line, Dtown remained resolute. By maintaining shape and courageous defending at times, Dtown settled into their new system. They were thankful to keeper Robinson on number of occasions in the first half, superbly saving and dominant when required, with Valley exerting pressure and hitting the woodwork on a number of occasions. As the game moved towards half time, belief grew within the Dtown side, that they were competing well, and minutes before the break, McCluskey had a superb opportunity to give the hosts a surprise lead, his solo effort narrowly missing the top corner.

Half time: 0:0

The mood at half time was upbeat, and with a real belief that they could continue to compete in the second period and for the first 15 minutes of the second half Dtown once again showed excelling concentration, in the face of increasing pressure.

Valley were dominant at this stage, and Dtown wilted slightly, not surprising given the level of workrate exerted to this point, and on 63 minutes, Valley took the lead after from neat interchange from their front three. In truth, a goal well deserved for the level of possession Valley controlled.

From this point, the fitness levels of the Senior team shone through and the final 20 minutes was about containing wave after wave of attack, which we did excellently, and Valley scored three in the final 15 minutes to wrap up a deserved victory.

There was a sense of disappointment at the final whistle, with Dtown players frustrated at the final scoreline, but in truth, the score was irrelevant. For a new side this year, we take great pride in the intelligence shown, and ability to follow a new system. The players were asked to show that they can manage a game and compete against a superior team, and received compliments from the opposition team for the mature manner in which they went about the game.

To remain scoreless for an hour was the rewards the Reserves deserved from the game, and going forward this performance will hopefully act as a catalyst to how strong this side can be.

Full Time: 0:4

Team: C Robinson, S Cartwright, R Hill, N Forsythe, S Armstrong, S Wright, D Houston, E Taylor, M Duffy, D Bennett, D McCluskey, R Taylor, J Irwin, D Branker, D Ewins, N Allen

MotM – all, collectively