Craigavon Cowboys’ Irish American Football League play-off ambitions received a dramatic boost on Sunday with a memorable 23-22 victory.
Success was achieved thanks to 23 points by Cowboys across the final five minutes at Carrickfergus Knights as the town men turned the tables on a 22-0 deficit to claim victory off the final play.
Knights played host to Cowboys aiming to complete a double against the borough visitors and dominated the early scoring to sit 15-0 up at half-time.
Knights’ control increased across the third quarter as Cowboys entered the closing period down by 22-0.
However, a memorable finale featured Luis Alberto collecting Peter Loughran’s pass with five minutes on the clock. Alberto slipped past one defender and headed towards a 40-yard touchdown.
A screen play led to Andy Herron converting for a 22-8 deficit.
It will go down in history as one of the most dramatic finishes and most impressive comeback wins in the history of the sport on this islandCraigavon Cowboys spokesman
The Cowboys defence stepped on to the field and worked to win back possession, sparking another Alberto drive. Loughran and Alberto combined to cut the gap to 22-16.
Cowboys continued to produce impressive defensive work to force a turnover.
A foul on Alberto with seconds left on the clock led to a call of pass interference by the referee to hand Cowboys possession. Loughran, once again, steered a pass towards Alberto and he claimed the ball in the end zone to level play overall.
Alberto then stepped up to slot between the posts and complete the superb fightback.
“The never-say-die attitude from the Craigavon players paid off,” said a Cowboys spokesman. “We showed great muscle in defence and managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
“It was an epic match, with a fist-pumping finish and wild scenes of celebration.
“It now leaves Cowboys on a 3-4 record for the season so still in with a possibility of getting a Wildcard play-off spot.
“It will go down in history as one of the most dramatic finishes and most impressive comeback wins in the history of the sport on this island.”