Lions escape clutches of relegation

They left it until the 11th hour, but a last gasp roar saw the Lions A team escape from Derdimus with their Premier Division intact.

They left it until the 11th hour, but a last gasp roar saw the Lions A team escape from Derdimus with their Premier Division intact.

Two goals in the last 25 minutes saw the Durrow men complete an unlikely comeback and condemn Bridge United A to life in Division One next season.

At half-time things looked grim for the Lions. Not only were they trailing 1-0 to a Bridge side who had controlled the game, they also had to face into the new half a man down after the dismissal of defender Kevin Shortall.

Yet rather than roll over, they showed their claws and scrapped back into the game. James Campion, who started at midfield but moved to centre-half after Shortall’s red card, led the charge with a fantastic 68th minute equaliser.

Awarded a free-kick well outside the box, Campion stepped up and chipped the four-man wall with a peach of a shot that flew into the top left corner of the net.

Better was to follow as, 13 minutes later, the Lions went in front. Shane McCann played his part, flicking a Darren Lynch cross from the left towards the back post. Lee Campion pounced, unleashing a sweet half-volley that rocketed past Jason Mahony.

That goal was a sucker punch for Bridge, who shrugged off a wretched run of form - after beating Fort Rangers in January they lost their last five league games - to take control of the game inside 25 minutes. Willie Hennessy was the catalyst, breaking from his own half before a Tom Huff pass saw Sean Murphy add a neat finish to the bottom left corner.

A tight game looked like turning Bridge’s way for good when Shortall was dismissed in injury-time, but United stalled in the second half. The Lions didn’t.

Lions A: John Finnegan, Michael Freeman, Niall Brophy (Ben Wallace, 35 mins), Murt Clancy, Kevin Shortall, Cormac McCann, Darren Lynch, James Campion, Lee Campion, Michael Dooley, Shane McCann.

Bridge United A: Jason Mahony, James Barcoe, Jason Bolger, Michael Brennan, James Bolger, Padraig Bambrick, John Kelly, Conor English, Sean Murphy, Willie Hennessy, Tom Huff.

Referee: Lee Kill.