NFC Kesh 0 Willowbank 2

NFC Kesh’s bid to reach the fonaCAB Junior Cup final ended in a 2-0 semi-final defeat to Willowbank at Holm Park, Armagh tonight.

Scott Robinson’s side fell behind to an eighth minute Hughes penalty and Willowbank secured a final spot against holders Enniskillen Rangers when O’Neill bagged a second with 13 minutes to go.

Kesh had began confidently in the opening minutes of the game but it was a strong Willowbank side who were to draw first blood in the eighth minute as they took the lead from the spot, captain Hughes stepping up to fire past Kesh goalkeeper Brownlee after a challenge in the box.

And the Belfast outfit went on to control the remainder of the half with striker McCrory a handful for the Kesh defence.

McCullough fired wide with a chance after good work down the right hand side by Willowbank while McCrory then fired over the bar.

Kesh were struggling to get any rhythm to their play and they were relieved to see a corner scrambled off the line as Willowbank pushed for a second.

Left back Manson was next to try his luck for Willowbank but his effort was right at Brownlee while Jacob Britton had to be alert to turn the ball behind for a corner as McAreavey looked to pounce on a cross from the right.

Kesh did have a chance late in the half when the ball fell to Beatty but he could not get it past Kelly in the Willowbank goal as it remained 1-0 at the break.

Kesh played with more intensity in the second half but chances were at a premium against a solid Wilowbank defence.

Mark Jones did get in on the right hand side but he opted to shoot from an acute angle with the goalkeeper touching it behind for a corner at the near post.

A number of corners followed for Kesh as they put Willowbank under a period of pressure but they could not make the breakthrough as the Belfast side stood firm.

At the other end full back Heaney drilled a shot across the face of the goal and wide before Garland O’Neill doubled the Willowbank lead with a good finish to put the game beyond Kesh.

The North Fermanagh side did continue to battle and had a late penalty shout waved away  after Walker went down in the box but it was not to be as Willowbank saw the remainder of the tie out to clinch their place in the final.

In the other semi-final, four in a row chasing Enniskillen Rangers defeated Bessbrook United 5-1.

See Thursday's Impartial Reporter for reaction from both semi-finals.