McHugh breaks Rangers’ hearts with extra time winner

Should Tummery Athletic go on to capture the fonaCAB Irish Junior Cup for the first time in the club’s history they may well look back on this victory as a hugely significant moment on the path to ultimate glory.

The clash of the Fermanagh and Western titans was every bit as close as the final scoreline suggests and the only real surprise is that the eagerly-anticipated encounter didn’t go all the way to penalties.

Fittingly, it was a goal by Tummery midfielder Paul McHugh midway through the second period of extra-time which ensured the Dromore outfit advanced to the last eight instead of four-time winners Rangers.


McHugh was immense. The midfielder won two penalties – one of which converted – after his team had twice fallen behind before driving forward in support of his front line to provide the tie’s decisive moment.

Conditions – overhead and on the ground – dictated that Saturday was not a day for the faint-hearted. Industry, endeavour, guts, blood, sweat and tears were likely to trump the finer skills of the beautiful game and so it proved.

Tummery’s player-manager Ryan Hanna afterwards described the last-16 tie as “a war of attrition” and that in a nutshell summed up the 110 plus gripping and compelling minutes.

From the first whistle there was no quarter given or taken as both sides went at it hammer and tongs. The hosts shaded the verdict in the first half although clear-cut opportunities were in short supply in the opening 45 minutes.

Rangers’ left-sided attacker Stuart Rainey had the first shot in anger but failed to trouble home netminder Niall McCrory while at the other end, visiting custodian Joel Peden accrobatically tipped over a curling effort by Aidy McCaffrey.

McCaffrey then glanced a header inches over the crossbar from a Declan McNulty free kick and towards the close of the first half Ciaran Beacom blazed over the crossbar after Rangers struggled to clear their lines.

In response, Rainey picked out Jake Browne but the Rangers right-back volleyed well wide.


But with the wind on their backs, Rangers hit the front six minutes after the interval.

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