Firsts still in hunt


Ravenhill YM………2
Carryduff Colts…..5

Colts made it eight league games without defeat, including seven wins, with another fine performance at Billy Neill.

The win keeps them in the title hunt and it showed the strength in depth of the squad with all 14 players contributing, including 17 year old Caleb Keating who made an big impression on his first team debut.

Colts took the lead on eight minutes following a combative opening period. Darragh Brownlee’s free kick going Rory McDonnell and he knocked it into the path of man of the match contender Niall McArdle who slotted the ball home.

Ravenhill threatened to get back on terms but Joe Sweeney, Kealan Devlin and Rory McDonnell defended strongly while Matty McNally and Paddy McEvoy worked hard on the flanks to get up and down the pitch.

The defence provided the foundations for this win and on 28 minutes it was 2-0 when the outstanding Brownlee closed down the keeper and won the ball, took it around him and slotted home.

Colts then suffered a body blow when Fergus McBride, who had dominated midfield with McArdle and Conor Cassidy, got badly injured in a nasty tackle. He was replaced by Paul Maguire who performed superbly in midfield but also when he dropped into left back.

Carryduff put the result beyond doubt a minute into the second half. McNally broke on the left, found McArdle and he picked out Brownlee. The wee man brought the ball under control with a terrific first touch and fired home for his 16th goal of a great season.

Five minutes later it was 4-0. Great work by McEvoy on the edge of the box created room for a shot. It was deflected but Sean Irwin showed great striker instinct and followed up to score.

Brownlee almost completed what would have been a deserved hat trick when he raced through the middle but struck the bar with s great shot.

Caleb Keating was introduced for McNally and, after Ravenhill pulled one back, set up iIrwin with a great run and pass after good work by Maguire.

Two minutes later Ravenhill pulled another back but the result never looked in doubt with Jack Crompton coming on for a tiring McArdle and he played his part in shoring up the defence.

Keating and Irwin both went Close as the final whistle approached but this was an impressive win by Colts to keep them in the hunt as we enter the business end of the season.

O Devlin, Sweeney, K Devlin, McDonnell, McEvoy, Cassidy, McBride (Maguire), McArdle (Crompton), Irwin, McNally (Keating), Brownlee

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