Dundalk attack is too hot for Macs
AS the big Airtricity Legaue kick-off draws ever closer, Dundalk ran out comfortable winners over the Tommy Mac XI in a special fundraising match on Saturday evening.
Four first-half goals and one after the break was enough to gun down the local selection, with the Lilywhites playing some wonderful football throughout.
Vinny Faherty scored on his debut, Kurtis Byrne added a double, Stephen O'Donnell fired the fourth before Keith Ward finished off the rout with a delightful effort from 20 yards.
It wasn't long until the deadlock was broken as new striker Faherty opened the scoring after just 90 seconds. A brilliant move, which involved as many as 20 passes, ended when Byrne picking out Faherty who fired past Robbie Arthur to give the Airtricity League side the lead.
Ward then shot wide before a quickfire double from striker Byrne just before the 20 minute mark saw Dundalk move into a 3-0 lead.
It wasn't long before it was four as Byrne, once again involved, found captain O'Donnell and his finish was superb and well out of the reach of Arthur. Now 4-0 up, Dundalk retained posession and both O'Donnell and Ward had efforts on goal but it remained 4-0 at the break.
The second half unfortunately didn't resume in the same vein. The local selection utilised their full bench after the restart and Dundalk made changes throughout. This looked to have affected the rhythm of the match but both sides battled on gamely.
Tommy Mac's XI managed to create a few chances for themselves and forced a few corners. Billy Smith had the two best chances for the side when his first effort was blocked in the box after they broke following a Dundalk corner and then he got in behind Eoghan Osborne but Andy Boyle managed to block his shot well from close range.
Dundalk didn't create much in the second half, a wild shot from Stephen McDonnell and an effort from Pat Hoban were the best they conjured until Ward got the goal his performance deserved.
After some good build-up play from midfield, the ball broke to Ward, who after a couple of dummies, curled a wonderful shot into the bottom right hand corner to complete the drubbing.
5-0 it finished and a good workout for the Lilywhites, with the local selection putting up a sterner test in the second half.
Manager Stephen Kenny said after the match he felt that his team are starting to get used to each other now and sees them working well together in different systems. Next up for the Lilywhites is Sheriff YC in the Leinster Senior Cup on Wednesday evening which will be played in Clontarf.
DUNDALK: Peter Cherrie; John Sullivan, Mark Rossiter (Andy Boyle 51), Dane Massey (Brat Tucker 85), Eoghan Osborne (Robert Maloney 81); Keith Ward, Stephen McDonnell, Richie Towell, Stephen O'Donnell (Darren Meenan 63); Vinny Faherty (Sami Osobe 81), Kurtis Byrne (Patrick Hoban). Unused sub: Chris Shields
TOMMY MAC XI: Robbie Arthur; Stefan McKevitt, Chris Caulfield, Alan McCartney, Andrew Duffy; Raymond McCann, Patrick Quinn, Paul McArdle, Gerard McSorley; Billy Smith, Padraig Hearty. Subs used: Garry Clarke, John Smith, David Ward, Keith Finnegan, Barry McKenna, Stephen Fisher, Owen Armstrong, Michael Cooney.