Sports

Swifts ready to kick on after cup win

Thursday, 6 April 2017

BERAGH Swifts are ready to lift their season up a gear as they overcame Irvinestown Wanderers 2-1 with a battling display in the Mulhern Cup third round.

Irvinestown Wanderers ...1
Beragh Swifts...2

The Swifts had to play most of the second half with ten men, but held on to register a win that delighted manager Keith Hamilton

"I'm very happy. It was a big game for us, and we just made it through by the skin of our teeth. We made it hard for ourselves with the sending off. But we are delighted by the end of it.

"We didn't start off the best. They were difficult and came at us well. We had to play ourselves into the game. We managed to get ourselves into a bit of in shape after a few formation changes.

"I've no qualms with the sending-off, it was silly. From there it was backs-against-the-wall, with one up front. It was nail-biting.

Swifts will now meet the winners of Division Three high flyers Fintona Swifts and Division Ones strugglers Strule United, but Hamilton ruled out any complacency his side might have going into the semi.

"We've had a few disappointments in the last few years in cup competitions. We are glad to be in semi-finals now, but we know from the past never to count your chickens and take the next game as it comes. We're not thinking any further than that."

The home side started better Joseph Millar and Ronan Ormsby where threatening to unpick the Brragh defence early on. At the other end, Michael Brown had a shot that whizzed over the bar, while Stephen Browne had an effort saved. Craig Breen also went close but Swifts still couldn't break the deadlock until Colly Adams improvised on a loose ball in the box to back-heel in the first goal.

A goal up after half-time and against the wind, Beragh's task in the second half got harder when Nigel Humphrey was sent off for a second bookable offence. A reshuffle in the Beragh ranks saw Wanderers enjoy much more possession, and they forced Jordan Newell into a number of saves. Swifts though would double their lead with a breakaway goal, when Jamie McKeown slipped in Browne on the right who slid the ball under the keeper.

There was still a way to go in the game though, and Wanderers got a goal back through Joseph Millar in the final ten minutes to set up a frantic finish. Beragh had to hang in and they managed to see out the game and book their place in the final four.

"We are looking forward to the run-in as we have a lot of home games." said Hamilton. "We want to finish as high as we can, and we have the cup to play for, so we will keep the training going with a lot of motivation. It's something to look forward and it gives the club a lift. We want to finish the season on a high and Saturday was the start of that."

In the other Mulhern Cup game at the weekend, Enniskillen Athletic and Lisnaskea Rovers played out a nine goal thriller, with athletic edging the tie 5-4. They will face the winners of holders Strathroy Harps and Enniskillen Town United in the semi-final, who are scheduled to ply on Saturday, April 15.

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