Monday 23 July 2018

Brendan bags vital win for Mor

Premier: Muirhevnamor 1 Bellurgan United 0

Both teams were in need of a win having made an undistinguished start to the season and it was the champions who emerged with it courtesy of an early goal by Brendan Hughes.

Thus Bellurgan were consigned to their fifth successive defeat with their new management team of David Hoey and Tommy Tasker in charge with Wayne Conroy relinquishing the reins after taking over at the beginning of the season following the departure of Padraig Gollogley.

The hosts also were on a poor sequence of results, and it was crucial that they won if they were to stand any chance of mounting a successful defence of their title.

The jury is out whether they will succeed. They were missing a number of key players, which is a feature of the campaign to date and perhaps explains why they don't look the force they were.

This result will give them impetus that their opponents were also desperate for and will feel that they were worthy of at least a draw with an encouraging performance. But they lacked scoring power with confidence in short supply.

This was evident in the rather poor attempts that the normally efficient finisher Ciaran Sheelan made with their two best scoring opportunities.

One was before the break and in normal circumstances he would have been expected to put it away.

Then as the visitors mounted consistent pressure on the home goal after the break, central defender Darragh Lafferty looked odds on to score when he rose above a crowd of players in the goalmouth but sent his header wide of the far post.

Goalscorer Hughes afforded Billy Smith the opportunity to wrap up the points for the home side when he put him free in front of goal, but the latter lofted the ball over the crossbar with the aid of a deflection.

Then just minutes before the final whistle Aoghan McGuinness with a long pass sent Sheelan free inside the penalty box at the other end to the right of goal. Home goalkeeper Michael Cooney dashed off his line, leaving his goal wide open, but Sheelan badly shot wide of the target, and Bellurgan's hope of a draw vanished.

Muirhevnamor: Michael Cooney, Brian Begley, Adrian Rafferty, Chris Caulfield, Conall Mulvenna (Steven Smith 63), Philip Duffy, Gary Clarke, Wayne Robinson (Gino Cooney 72), Billy Smith, Mickey O'Kane, Brendan Hughes (Conor Gorman 88).

Bellurgan: Robert Arthur, Aoghan McGuinness, Ray Finnegan, Darragh Lafferty, John Smith (Stephen Finnegan 70), Brian White, Paddy Keenan, Daniel McDonald, Shane Finnegan, Ciaran Sheelan, Barry Carr (Owen Traynor 50).

The Argus