Homers win on penalties to reach Junior Shield final

Harryville Homers goalkeeper Alex McCosh.
Harryville Homers goalkeeper Alex McCosh.

Harryville Homers’ remarkable bid to win both the Irish Junior Cup and County Antrim Junior Shield remains on course.

The Ballymena Saturday Morning League champions reached the final of the Shield after a dramatic penalty shootout win over Lower Shankill in tonight’s semi-final in Holywood.

Robert Duddy’s side held their nerve to win 5-4 after the sides had slugged out a scoreless stalemate.

Goalkeeper Alex McCosh emerged as Homers’ hero, making no fewer than FOUR penalty saves in the shootout.

Duddy used the depth within his squad to make three changes to his starting line-up from Monday’s Junior Cup semi-final win over Carniny Rangers, with Marcus Spratt, Mark McKay and David Nicholl coming in.

In a closely-contested first half, Alan Rainey went close for Homers, while Shankill hit the woodwork with a long range effort.

As Homers began to get the upper hand in the second half, David Nicholl saw an effort tipped onto the crossbar while Paul McNeill forced a save from the Shankill keeper in the final minute of normal time after being put clean through.

The game eventually went to a marathon penalty shootout which saw both sides take eight spot kicks apiece.

After McCosh had made his fourth save, it was left to Jason Logan to tuck away the decisive spot kick to earn Homers a place in the final against Ballyvea.