A second half double from Raphoe striker Paddy Gallagher gave the Laggan men a 2-1 comeback win over Inishowen Reserve League Champions Aileach FC in Sunday afternoon’s inaugural Ulster Junior Shield Final in Buncrana.
Both sides created chances in an even first half but Aileach put themselves in the driving seat with the opening goal five minutes before break with a spectacular Stephen Doherty effort.
Raphoe flew out of the blocks for the start of the second half and Gallagher, who was a handful all afternoon for the Aileach rearguard, netted the equaliser on 50 minutes before giving his side the lead five minutes later with another neat finish.
Town defended their lead well for the remainder of the game as Aileach threw everything but the kitchen sink into attack in their attempts to take the game to extra time but they could fashion little in the way of clear cut chances.
This was a first cup final in 15 years for Raphoe and their sizeable travelling support flooded onto the pitch at the final whistle to celebrate their breakthrough win.
Aileach still have one last shot at a double however when they play Moville Youths in the final of the Top Four Cup which has been pencilled in for May 31st back at Inishowen League HQ.
AILEACH: Mark McElhinney, Charlie Carlin, Antonio Rea, Dermott McGlynn, David Ryan, James Wallace, Ruairi Bradley, Seamus O’Donnell, Stephen Doherty, Liam Burke, Caolan Mailey SUBS: Eddie McGrath, Mickey Morrisson, Matthew Grant, Brendan Hegarty
RAPHOE: Paul Carberry, Seamus Boyle, Stephen Laird, Stephen Conaghan, Thomas McHugh, David Craig, Christy Boyle, Emmet Kelly, Paddy Gallagher, Jamie Gallagher, Stephen Craig SUBS: Mark Bogle, Lee Smith, Craig Kelly, Oliver Quinn, Michael Quinn
By Johnny Craig
Full report and pictures from Sunday’s final in Tuesday’s Inish Times
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