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Portstewart next up for wounded ‘Straw

Goalkeeper Andrew Gailey was in top form in Craig Memorial Cup Final

Goalkeeper Andrew Gailey was in top form in Craig Memorial Cup Final

ARDSTRAW boss Gary Simpson has told his players not to be crying over spilled milk!

On Boxing Day the ‘Straw men suffered a heartbreaking extra-time defeat to Limavady United in the final of the Craig Memorial Intermediate Cup at Tobermore’s Fortwilliam Park.

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With a penalty shootout looming large on the horizon, a goal by Robbie Hume in the final minute of added time condemned the Vaughan’s Holm outfit to a crushing 2-1 defeat.

However Ardstraw still have a lot to play for. The North Tyrone men have won four of their opening five league games and on Saturday face title contenders Portstewart at Vaughan’s Holm with crucial points up for grabs.

Following Monday’s defeat Simpson told his players to lick their wounds and get on with the task of trying to win a first ever Northern Ireland Intermediate League title.

“It was a cruel way to lose it but to be honest I couldn’t have asked any more of the players,” he said.

“We did very little wrong and our fitness levels and everything meant we pushed Limavady all the way. Congratulations to Limavady on their hat-trick of cup wins but for us we now move on.

“We have to take confidence from that into a massive game on Saturday against Portstewart.

“All our focus will now be on that. If anyone is going to be sitting about feeling sorry for themselves I don’t want them about the place.

“I told the players I’d be picking the team to face Portstewart on their attitude and reaction in training this week.”

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ARDSTRAW will face Portstewart in the semi-final of the Northern Ireland Challenge Cup after defeating Dungiven 2-1 in extra-time.

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