PSNI v Lisburn Distillery (Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League) – Tuesday 2nd May 2023
Lisburn Distillery had a short journey to Breda Park to face PSNI for the final Lough 41 Premier Intermediate League game of the season. Regardless of the result both sides positions in the final league table were already confirmed so there was very little to play for.
In terms of team news, Cieran Clougherty and Jonathan Newell replaced Bobby Robinson and Michael Gallagher in the starting eleven for Distillery.
The visitors had the first sight of goal in the 2nd minute, Jourdan Shearer laying the ball of to Josh Lynch but his shot from outside the box was off target.
After this the home side began to gain the upper hand and in the 3rd minute Rhys Clougherty was forced into a good save by Aaron Cochrane and from the resulting corner Adam McCart had to head the ball off the line after Tony Tumelty found space on the far side of the box and let rip with a shot that looked destined for the top corner.
It was not a big surprise when the home side took the lead in the 23rd minute, Billy Cassells broke down the Whites left hand side and cooly finished past Rhys Clougherty, there were appeals from the Distillery defence for an offside, but these fell on deaf ears.
Tumelty almost doubled his sides lead in the 37th minute, the PSNI skipper dispossessed Newell not far into the Distillery half and set off towards goal but could not get his final shot on target. The home side did double their lead just a minute later though, a Cochrane shot from just outside the box took a deflection and Rhys Clougherty fumbled the ball giving Henry Capper the easy job of tapping home from a couple of yards out.
With two minutes of normal time of the first half remaining Barry Johnston’s side thought they had pulled a goal back, a Lynch corner found Lewis Higginson at the back post, but the midfielders downward header bounced just wide of Ben McCauley’s right-hand post.
The half time whistle sounds soon after this with the Whites going in at the break 2-0 down, so far, the side had not really got going in the game and the home sides lead was deserved.
Half Time: PSNI 2-0 Lisburn Distillery
The second half continued in much the same way as the first half, Rhys Clougherty was forced into saves in the first ten minutes of the half to deny Cassels and Tumelty.
In the 63rd minute, the Distillery goalkeeper could do lead as Capper scored his second and PSNI’s third goal of the game, heading home from a cross following a poor Adam McCart pass out from the back.
Distillery pulled a goal back with just over 20 minutes remaining, the referee awarded a penalty after judging Higginson had been fouled after a corner and the same player stepped up to hammer the ball home from the spot himself.
In the 73rd minute Lynch went close to making it 3-2 and setting up an exciting last 15 minutes when his long-range free kick looked set for the top corner only for McCauley to pull off a stunning fingertip save to tip it over.
After this there were few chances for either side, both goalkeepers were called into action to deny Higginson and Tumelty but in the end PSNI ended their season on a high note running out 3-1 winners. The only positive for the Whites was the debuts of three players from the Seconds team in the final 20 minutes of the game and we pass on congratulations to David Rafferty, Matthew McKibbon and Jack Hewitt.
Attention now turns to the 2023/2024 season.
Full Time: PSNI 3-1 Lisburn Distillery
Lisburn Distillery; R. Clougherty, Willis, C. Clougherty, Angus, A. McCart, Lynch, Higginson, Newell, Shearer, Doyle, Savage
Lisburn Distillery substitutions; Hewitt (for R. Clougherty, 83 mins), Gallagher (for C. Clougherty, 46 mins), Robinson (for Doyle, 46 mins), Rafferty (for Newell, 69 mins), McCleave, McKibbon (for Shearer, 76 mins), Nelson
Match report by Cameron Moore (@cameron2604)
David Hunter’s picture gallery from this game can be found @ https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjACBZt