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Olympic's Final fling
Cliftonville Olympic made it back to back George Wilson Cup successes with a 4-2 Extra-Time victory over Ballyclare
Comrades U
nder 20s at Seaview on Saturday.
Joseph Tully broke the deadlock for the dominant Reds a minute past the half-hour mark, but Ballyclare turned the
game on its head with a quick fire double before the break as Scott Gault and M
ichael Haskins struck to make it 2-1.
Within six minutes of the restart
, Declan O'Hara's side were back on terms through Lucas Galashan though they
couldn’t find a winner inside of 9
0 minutes and Extra-Time was required.
Cliftonville duly made their pressure pay as Dylan Whiteway pounced to make it 3-2 and Daniel Reynolds put the
game to bed in the second period to cap a
Man of the Match display.
The Reds had the better of the opening exchanges; Cillin Gilmour dragg
ing an early effort wide of Ross McKnight’s
goal,
while chances also fell to Tully - who curled his free-kick over the bar - and Jack Mallin, who forced McKnight to
backpedal to deal with his lofted effort.
On 31 minutes
, Cliftonville made the breakthrough that their attacking play had merited when Tully got on the end of a
high ball forward and flicked it over the advancing McKnight and into the
net.
Galashan almost made it two following a partially cleared corner
, however it was Ballyclare who were to level the
game on 41 minutes when a short throw in picked out Gault
, whose shot deceived Declan Dunne in the wind and  in
off the crossbar to make it 1-1.
Then
, in first-half injury-time, Gault was the provider for the Comrades' second as his cut back fell for Haskins and,
though Dunne got a touch to turn the strike against the bar,
the linesman flagged to signal that the ball had crashed
down across the line.

T
he Olympic started the second period brightly as Gary Donnelly linked up with Nathan Watters, who was denied by
McKnight
, and the Comrades goalkeeper had to show quick reactions to turn behind Gilmour’s dangerous cross a
minute later.
S
oon, though, the Reds' equaliser arrived as Donnelly’s corner was half cleared and Galashan rifled home to make it
2-2.
C
liftonville upped the ante in search of the winner; Reynolds meeting Tully’s cross only for McKnight to gather before
Adam McCart's last-gasp clearance denied Tilly.
Haskins had the Comrades' only second-half attempt from a free-kick which Dunne held onto as the Cup Final
headed into Extra-Time

Jack Mallin was the first to threaten for the Olympic but McKnight dealt with his effort
before the Reds poked their
noses in front once again
when Donnelly’s corner fell to the back post, where Whiteway was waiting to turn the ball
home
.
Five minutes after the i
nterval, Cliftonville made the game safe as Reynolds did superbly to hold the ball up and make
space for the shot which was turned against the crossbar by McKnight
. Tully rushed in to make sure the ball had
crossed the line
, though Reynolds would later be credited with the strike to make it 4-2.
Further chances fell to Donnelly
, who was denied by the foot of McKnight, and Tully, whose free-kick crashed back off
the crossbar, but in the end O
'Hara's men saw the game out to make it successive George Wilson Cup triumphs.
Cliftonville Olympic: Dunne, Watters, Galashan, Whiteway, A Donnelly, Lawlor, G Donnelly, Mallin, Gilmour, Tully,
Reynolds.
Subs: Shannon (for Gilmour, 100 mins), McAdory (for Reynolds, 112 mins), Brien (for Tully, 117 mins).
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Monday, May 15, 2017
Olympic players celebrate their latest success