3 more points for Firsts; Seconds progress to cup semis
It was yet another double win for both senior teams this weekend, with the firsts grinding out a 1-0 win over a tough Tollymore United side and the seconds reaching the semi finals of the Bignian Cup with an easy win over Rossglass County.
The Firsts made it 10-in-a-row in terms of unbeaten matches, including eight victories, and have still only suffered one league defeat all season.
The win takes them to within seven points of leaders Ballyvea with five games remaining. The leaders have to come to Lough Moss and also face a tough trip to Killough next week, so it is still all to play for.
It was a hard slog on Saturday and it was striker Sean Irwin who grabbed the all important goal on the 75th minute. Michael Deeny picked the ball up in the middle of the park and released Darragh Brownlee with a great pass on the right hand side. Brownlee executed a pinpoint cross and Irwin got his head on the ball for his fourth goal in the last five matches
Colts had plenty of chances to be out of sight but with time running out they could have got anxious, but they kept plugging away patiently and there was relief more than joy when it came.
In the first half the excellent Kealan Devlin could have done better with a shot that went over and Stevie Doherty hit the goalkeeper’s legs after being put through one on one. Irwin, who gave the defenders a torrid time, also went close from a Brownlee cross before the break.
Goalkeeper Odhran Devlin was rarely called on throughout the 90 minutes but was safe and secure anytime he was called into action. His quiet afternoon was due to a solid back four of Paul Murphy, Rory McDonnell, Jack Crompton and the outstanding Sparky Hegney who along with Irwin were the best two players on the park.
Colts continued to press in the second half and an excellent move involving the industrious Fergus McBride and Brownlee nearly provided the opening on the hour mark as the move finished with Doherty just failing to get on the end of a Deeny cross. And Doherty nearly returned the favour when he crossed brilliantly from the left but the stretching Deeny could not guide the ball home.
Brownlee, who is always capable of producing that bit of magic hit the bar with a rasping drive and with Tollymore feeding on scraps and flying into tackles it looked like we could be heading for a scoreless draw.
However, Conor Cassidy was introduced and Colts went three at the back to increase attacking options and the goal followed soon after. Paul Maguire had earlier come on for Crompton and slotted in comfortable to the role while Arron Waddell brought real energy to the attack when he replaced the tiring Brownlee and his hard work defending from the front was a key element in getting over the line.
It’s away to Mourne Rovers next week with three points a necessity to keep up the challenge.
Colts: O.Devlin, Murphy (Cassidy), Crompton (Maguire), McDonnell, Hegney, McBride, Deeny, K.Devlin, Irwin, Doherty, Brownlee (Waddell).
*Meanwhile the seconds cruised into the cup semi final with a facile win over a poor Rossglass County side. But it starts to get harder now with all four leading league teams in the latter part of the competition.
Two goals from Eamonn Vize, two from Jamie Maynes and one from Jordy Toal ensured a 5-0 win.
Conor O’Toole was man of the match but this was a game that will not live long in the memory!