Guernsey Press

Domaille fires North into Grand Fort Road derby final

KEENE DOMAILLE continued his burst of late-season form to set up an intriguing Grand Fort Road derby for the final silverware of the season in the Offshore Commercial Guernsey FA Cup, and knock out the holders in doing so.

North defender Archie Drillot turns away from Aidan McKay. (Picture by Connor Rabey, 33223321)

A scorching afternoon at Blanche Pierre Lane saw a complete semi-final performance from Northerners to see them return to the FA Cup final, where last year they lost to Rovers on penalties.

Revenge for that result was comprehensively delivered as North’s closing weeks of the season have been almost the opposite of that of the Port Soif outfit, who lost their league crown to Vale Rec and have been off the pace for several games.

The chocolate-and-blues started probably as strong as they have looked all season with a dominant first 20 minutes. Rovers were forced to sit back and attempt to contain the pressure.

Domaille himself had three chances within the first fifteen minutes, but none really troubled Adam Bullock in the Rovers goal.

Danny Hale was back in the North starting eleven for the first time in a few games and, just as he did in the league fixture between the two teams which seemed to spark their changing fortunes, he gave Rovers left back Colton Fletcher some serious trouble, including being involved in the moves to set up two of Domaille’s chances in those opening exchanges.

Referee Brent Blondel was merciful in allowing a half-way drinks break and again North emerged the stronger.

Then on 35 minutes, Domaillem who has been so influential since his return to Northfield, received the ball on the edge of the box and curled it excellently into Bullock’s top left with his weaker right foot to give his side a deserved lead.

Towards the end of the first half, the side from Port Soif began to grow into the game but failed to create anything to worry North goalkeeper Ollie Miller.

And in the second half again it was North who looked brighter and more likely to score again.

They had two huge chances to double their lead in as many minutes. The first came from Simon Marley, who was excellent all day, playing in Hale over the top of the Rovers defence, but Adam Bullock managed to save well with his feet.

Left back Ryan Lamb then struck thunderously just a minute later from about 40 yards. Bullock could only punch and the ball fell in the penalty area to Craig Young, but his rebound was also saved by the keeper.

Ten minutes after the drinks break in the second half, however, North did double their lead. Marley struck well from the right-hand side of the penalty area only to rattle the crossbar, and the ball fell to a grateful Domaille who had a tap in to ultimately seal the game for his side.

The North back line of Ryan Lamb, Chris Le Cheminant, Archie Drillot and Sam Cooley did superbly all afternoon to limit the free-scoring Max Simpson-Cohen, Martin Savident and Sam Hall to pretty much nothing and see out the game.

Now only North can stop Vale Rec’s push for a trophy quadruple, to add the FA Cup to the Priaulx League, Upton and Stranger Cups secured so far this season. The final is on Tuesday 21 May at the Track.