The Colts’ seniors produced a superb performance on Saturday, ending champions Mourne Rovers hopes of retaining their title – and it could have been a lot more.
Goals from Stevie Doherty, Paddy McEvoy and impressive young under 18 player Arron Waddell sealed the points, while stand-in goalkeeper Jonny Henry made a stake for a new career with a fine performance included a double save from a penalty
In a season that has seen really good performances not getting their reward due to poor finishing, this was a game when chances were taken, but at the same time there could have been a lot more particularly in the first half.
The opening goal came on nine minutes when great work by Chris Curran opened up the goal for Stevie Doherty and his looping shot dropped in over the goalkeeper and into the net
Two minutes later it was nearly a second when great combination work between Joe Sweeney and man of the match contender Paddy McEvoy ended with Curran firing over the bar and on the 14th minute Doherty fired wildly over the bar when in a good position.
The only danger from Rovers came from set pieces and the closest they came to scoring in the first half was from a corner on the 15th minute but Henry in the Colts goal easily saved the resulting header.
The chances kept coming for Colts – on 34 minutes Adam Shilliday drove to the by-line and found Dpherty whose effort went pace the post. Then no-one got on the end of a great cross from Danny Toal on the 42nd minute and then on the stroke of half time a great pass from McEvoy found Shilliday but he shot over the bar.
Rovers nearly scrambled an equaliser right at the start but of the second half but Colts managed to scramble it away.
But they were soon back on top with another man of the match contender Paul Maguire and Fergus McBride controlling the midfield, Mourne Rovers never looked like scoring, with kipper Rory McDonnell, Sweeney, Paul Murphy and Danny Toal resolute in defence
Colts doubled their lead on 56 minutes when a long ball from Shilliday was mistimed by the defender and McEvoy was free at the back post to fire in a powerful shot into the top corner.
Michael Deeny replaced the hard working McEvoy shortly after, with Jordan Toal and Arron Waddell also joining the frey, and they all made a significant impact.
Toal thought he had made it three when put through by Deeny on the 70th minute but the referee blew up for a very questionable offside. However, two minutes later it was 3-0 and this time the luck went Colts way when the referee failed to see that young Waddell was a couple of yards offside but he finished brilliant with a superb chip over the goalkeeper.
Rovers had the opportunity to get a consolation on 76 minutes when a dubious penalty was awarded, but Henry saved the spot kick and quickly got back to his feet to parry the follow up shot around the post – a great double save.
With one game remaining, Colts will be hoping to finish the season on a high and if this young team can cure their ailments in front of goals they could be real contenders in the league next season.
Colts : Henry, Sweeney, Murphy, McDonnell, D Toal, McBride, McEvoy (Deeny), Curran, Doherty (J Toal), Maguire, Shilliday (Waddell).