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Andy Kilmartin and Mark Hughes go up for a header (Picture: William Cherry/


THERE remains nothing between Lisburn Distillery and Newry City following this first leg play-off at New Grosvenor Stadium.

Indeed, the stalemate only serves to heighten the tension ahead of Friday's return at The Showgrounds which, on this showing, really is a game that can go either way.

As might have been expected given the ultimate prize at stake, the first half was an edgy affair with neither side really creating much in front of goal.

David Larmour perhaps came closest for the Whites on 14 minutes when he header over at the back post from an Andy Hall corner while Newry can point to an Aaron Callaghan clearance just as Mark Hughes was ready to connect with a Darragh Hanaphy cross. The Championship side also had vociferous penalty claims waved away by referee Raymond Hetherington.

After the break James Hand caused a moment of panic in the home defence with a 30-yard free-kick which sailed narrowly wide of an upright.

Then, five minutes later at the other end, Gary Liggett beat the City rearguard to an Andy Hunter clearance but the usually deadly striker fired well over from the edge of the box.

John Cunningham's side had one last chance towards the end when Hunter nodded on a corner only for Marty Havern to head the ball away to safety.

Lisburn Distillery: Brennan, Callaghan, Hunter, McCashin, McShane, Kilmartin, Thompson, Hall, Traynor, Larmour, Liggett subs McCullough (not used), Cooling (not used), Davidson (replaced Hall 80), Gawley (replaced Liggett 84), Hughes (replaced Larmour 80)

Newry City: Buchanan, Devlin, Hutchinson, Copeland, King, McCabe, Tierney, M. Hughes, S. Hughes, Hand, Hanaphy subs Freeman (not used), Havern (replaced Hand 83), Donegan (not used), Grant (not used), D. Hughes (not used)

Tags:  Lisburn Distillery