Choka bows out in glory

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Choka bows out in glory thumbnailTerry Fitzpatrick celebrates scoring the winner on his final appearance for the club.

TERRY Fitzpatrick brought the curtain down on his Dungannon Swifts career with a decisive penalty that ensured the Swifts left Ards with all three points.

The game looked destined for a draw after an impressive Swifts fightback but in stoppage time the visitors found themselves with the chance to win the game and up stepped Choca.

He buried his effort to give the Swifts something to smile about in a  disappointing league game that saw the side finish eighth.

In truth, the game lacked a competitive bite with the Swifts knowing they only had to avoid defeat to finish above Ards.

However, within 75 seconds the Swifts were behind. A goal kick was headed on to Michael McLellan who raced clear and hit a stunning lob from the edge of the box.

Somewhat deflated by the early goal, the Swifts tried to battle back but it took until just before half-time for the equaliser to arrive.

Mark Patton drifted inside from the left wing, dashing past two Ards defenders before curling home a right foot effort.

At the start of the second-half the Swifts took the lead.

Ally Teggart found space and his cross to the back post found Jarlath O'Rourke who headed home to give the Swifts the lead.

Ards replied quickly to level the score thanks to Adam Brown whose mazy run ended with a right footed drive into the bottom corner.

Ards then took the lead in the 69th minute as Jonny Frazer rounded the goalkeeper.

The Swifts looked beaten but in dramatic fashion they found a way to win.

They levelled the game in stoppage time when a Ryan Mayse free-kick found Rhyss Campbell who volleyed home with a well worked effort.

Then with the Swifts pushing forward in search of a winner Paul McElroy was taken down in the box and Fitzpatrick ended the match with a penalty that sent the 'keeper the wrong way and sealed all three points.

Speaking after the game the defender couldn't believe such a fairy tale scenario had played out.

"You couldn't write it," he said. "Last week's win against Warrenpoint was super as well and obviously winning the League Cup as well this year, but to score the winner in my last game - you just couldn't write that stuff.

"I got all my emotions out last week at the home game but my emotions for the future are excitement. There is no point looking back, my decision is made that I am retiring, and I want to be excited about the future."

Dungannon Swifts: Stuart Addis, Chris Hegarty, Davy Armstrong, Paul McElroy, Ally Teggart, Jarlath O'Rourke, Mark Patton (Terry Fitzpatrick), Cormac Burke (Ryan Mayse)  , Grant Hutchinson, Caolan Coyle (Seanan Clucas), Rhyss Campbell.

Subs: Andy Coleman, Chris Lowe.


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