Mcguire hits hat-trick to decide youths' derby
STEPHEN McGUIRE kept his nerve to hit a marvellous hat-trick, in the process inspiring his side to all three points over neighbours Bridge Rovers in this Division 1 Youths league local derby clash at Castlebridge on Saturday last.
There's no question that McGuire was the difference between two evenly-balanced sides as it was his explosive finishing that eventually decided the destination of a game that saw very little between them.
Both sides were blessed with some quality defending through the opening 45 minutes, with Evan Devereux superb at the back for the home side, while Colin Cleary gave a master-class display from the centre of defence for the seasiders.
Through the opening half hour very little was created at either end, but this did not take from the quality of the game as the football was fast and skilful. Jodi Hyland brought an excellent twelfth-minute save out of 'keeper Alan Hearne, while at the opposite end it took a superb 16thminute stop from home 'keeper Aodhán Foley to keep out a McGuire effort from the edge of the area.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 22nd minute. Having built a promising move out of midfield, Shane Hogan played a great ball through to Dom Murphy who clinically finished from twelve metres, giving the home side a 1-0 lead.
Despite some promising attacking football, it took until the 38th minute for the game's second goal when Stephen McGuire shot low under the diving body of 'keeper Foley, making it 1-1 which was how it remained to the interval.
The second-half was introduced with lots of goalmouth action so it was no surprise when a breakthrough came as early as the 55th minute. Having exerted a period of pressure, a neat Enda Cloake strike restored the home side's lead, making it 2-1. It looked as if Bridge Rovers could actually shock the seasiders but McGuire had other ideas.
After 68 minutes there seemed little on when McGuire gained possession some 30 metres from goal. But having created space he unleashed a tremendous shot into the top righthand corner of the net, making it 2-2.
The game had developed into an intense tussle, and Curracloe took the lead for the first time twelve minutes from the end through Shane Hogan. With the game moving into the closing stages, McGuire completed his hat-trick with another superb shot from just outside the penalty area to ensure all three points for his side.