STRABANE Athletic will contest the Challenge Cup Final after brushing aside the challenge of Derry opponents Trojans in yesterday’s semi-final at Melvin.
A Conal Crawford goal gave Athletic a narrow half-time lead before further strikes by Aodhan Doherty and Sean Lynch secured the win to set up a showpiece decider against Newbuildings, who were shock 2-0 winners over Maiden City.
Crawford’s opener arrived just two minutes before the interval, the midfielder forcing the ball home after he was twice denied by Trojans stopper Tracey.
Doherty then doubled the lead six minutes into the new half. Tom Carlin picked out the attacker who danced through the Trojans defence, dummied the keeper before slotting home.
Lynch then put the seal on an impressive victory by steering home from close range after Conor Carlin knocked a Cal Ryan cross into the substitute’s path.
Tony Deery pulled a goal back for the visitors but it was too little too late to prevent Athletic advancing to Saturday’s showpiece decider at Derry’s Wilton Park.
Strabane Athletic – R Donaghy, A Doherty, C Ryan, O McShane, G Henderson, T Carlin (C Catney 74), D Taylor (S Lynch 64), C Crawford, C Carlin, S Ferry (J Breslin 80), R McBrearty
Trojans FC – P Tracey, M Barr, D Sheils, M Devlin, M Smyth, B Meehan, D Quigley (E Moran 63), M Healey, T Deery, O McDevitt, E Friel
Referee – Jerome McElroy, Aughnacloy