MID-ULSTER SHIELD (FINAL) THE AMBASSADORS 3 ARMAGH ROVERS 2
BRYAN Chud started on the substitutes’ bench and failed to finish the Mid-Ulster Shield final - but his contribution in a memorable 15-minute cameo helped The Ambassadors secure Easter silverware.
The Holm Park showpiece produced five goals across 90 thrilling minutes as Armagh Rovers battled back from a 2-0 deficit before The Ambassadors regained control with the game’s final goal.
Chud produced the decisive strike following fine play by Johnny Stewart as Alan Cooke capped his first season in management with trophy joy.
“Full credit must go to the players and it was a cracking final,” said Cooke. “Bryan was an injury doubt going into the match with an ankle problem.
“However, he has been a brilliant servant to the club down the years and scored some important goals so we put him on at a crucial point in the final.
“He lasted about 15 minutes but in that time scored the winning goal.
“It was a real team effort but players such as Chris McCluskey, Stewart Glass and Adam Patton deserve special mention.
“Having lost out in previous cup finals, we went into the game aiming to finally get our hands on a knockout trophy.
“The scale of the achievement will probably hit home over the next few days and it was a wonderful effort by the players from day one in this competition.
“Our previous game against Armagh Rovers ended in a Marshall Cup defeat and we were 2-0 down after 20 minutes or so.
“On Tuesday, it was a different story as Stewart Glass scored then we grabbed a superb second.
“Steven Cullen raced down the left on the overlap and his cross was cut back for the supporting Gary Murphy to sweep home.
“It was a lovely move but we then conceded a scrappy goal late in the half and a second after about an hour.
“The mind was probably starting to think about extra-time going into those final minutes before Bryan popped up with his winner.
“We changed the formation from 4-1-4-1 to 4-4-2 and that helped us get back into the tie at 2-2.
“It was a great result for everyone connected to the club and a wonderful day.
“We will enjoy it for a few days then turn our focus back to the remaining league games.”
THE AMBASSADORS: Chris McCluskey, Chris Strain, Steven Cullen, Johnny Elliott, Stewart Glass, Philip Massey, Adam Patton, Johnny Stewart, Philip Anderson, Gary Murphy, Philip Birnie. Subs: Bryan Chud, Steven Hawthorne, Steven Anderson, Michael Irwin, Bryan Archer.