Draperstown ran out deserved winners in the replay of the Coleraine & District Cup Semi-Final. However, it was Limavady who started the brighter, peppering the Draperstown net early on. But for great defensive work and excellent saves from McConnell Draperstown could have found themselves behind early on.
After this early onslaught, Limavady began to get pushed further and further back into their own half as Draperstown took control of the game. In midfield Conway was playing a stormer, with not a single ball getting past him. They did, however, seem to lack a cutting edge, with Diamond and Bradley spurring decent chances.
Draperstown did take the lead however, when McClenaghan tapped home his 11th of the season after a some poor communication in the Limavady defence. Buoyed by their goal, Draperstown continued to push, but paid the price for it. With too many man committed forward Limavady caught them on the counter attack, and a good cross from the left hand side was well converted with a good header inside the box.
Soon after, Taggart had his match ended abruptly when a ludicrously high foot caught him on the side of the head. He had to be taken off and taken to hospital for stitches. ONeill replaced him, with McKillion switched to right back. The offender of the challenge somehow escaped with only a yellow card for his crime.
Within seconds of the substitution Draperstown nearly grabbed the lead when McKillion set McClenaghan through down the right. Flicking the ball past the oncoming keeper, McClenaghan found himself at the bye-line. He put in a sweet cross, which McKillion, who had continued his run, met with a well-executed scissors kick. Agonisingly, the ball hit the post and fell into the grateful Limavady keepers hands.
In the second half Draperstown continued to be the dominant team, with Murray posing a constant threat down the right, whilst Higgins wizardry in midfield could only be stopped by the bamboozled Limavady players through fouling. Substitute ONeill was also having a great game, with his speed and height being of a great advantage to the Draperstown lads.
Few were surprised, therefore, when Draperstown took the lead. A beezer ball over the Limavady defence was seized by Bradley, who finished with aplomb into the bottom corner. Now in the lead, Draperstown refused to sit back, with memories of their last two encounters still fresh in their minds. Within a few minutes they had doubled their cushion with Bradley getting his second when he converted from a great Diamond knock-back.
Limavady, now forced to throw caution to the wind, pushed forward to try to get back into the game. Draperstown held them back for twenty minutes, during which McConnell made the save of the season when he prevented McIvor on two occasions before clearing the ball. With only 10 minutes remaining Draperstown finally caved when a good attack down the left hand side yielded some space in behind the back line, which was poked home from no more than a few yards out.
Draperstown managed to play out the last few minutes with no further lapses of concentration to qualify for the Coleraine & District Cup Final.