This fixture never fails to serve up an entertaing game of football and Saturday’s Coleraine Social Club Knockout Shield Semi final was no different.
The wind restricted both teams as conditions made it difficult to play good football. The first half hour was tense with very little created although Portrush had most of the ball.
Balnamore continued looked dangerous on the break. The deadlock was broken when James Elder’s quick thinking sent Lee Kelly free up the flank, Kelly crossed low as David Mc Dowell raced through to score a excellent goal.
After the break Portrush looked strong but were dealt another blow, this time Lee Kelly found the net for Balnamore with a super individual effort that gave keeper Mc Cullough no chance. Portrush pushed men forward as Balnamore weathered the pressure.
Once again the quick break of Balnamore paid off as David Mc Dowell’s trickery and persistence was rewarded. The young striker found the top corner, curling a super effort from edge of area for Balnamore’s third.
Hogg and Gaston made a differance for Portrush using the ball well as they pushed for a lifeline. Darryl Wills gave them hope as he pounced on a wayward pass from Balnamore to score late on but time was up, as Balnamore celebrated reaching another final with a 3-1 win. Man of Match: David Mc Dowell ( Balnamore ).