Tuesday 17 September 2019

Holders stay on course for three in a row

Soccer, Tully B'makers Cup: Glenmuir 0 Muirhevnamor 4

Glenmuir were rank outsiders in this clash of the close neighbours on Friday night, and the holders Muirhevnamor duly advanced as they seek to make more history in lifting the Tully Bookmakers Cup for the third time in a row.

Having been removed from the Kilmessan Shield along with Trim after the sides' quarter-final cup tie was recently abandoned, the cup looks their only realistic chance of silverware this season.

However, they intend to appeal the league's decision, having led 3-1 when the referee blew after what he timed to be the 67th minute, while those at the game had over 70 minutes elapsed.

Muirhevnamor started this game slowly with Glenmuir, buoyed by a run of eight games without defeat and further boosted by a defeat for leaders Duleek in Division 3B where they are prime title contenders, playing with confidence.

They took the game boldly to their Premier Division opponents, with the wind helping their cause, and were the dominant attacking team for the opening 20 minutes.

Indeed, they had chances to be at least a couple of goals to the good, with Conor Nicholson looking right at home in this company and a constant threat. However, he and his teammates failed to avail of a number of gilt-edged openings.

The holders then found their feet and Brendan Hughes served the home side with a warning as he was slipped clear inside the penalty box, but didn't get enough height on his lob and advancing goalkeeper Liam McKenny safely plucked the ball out of the air.

Hughes was the Muirhevnamor dangerman and Liam McKinney pulled off a great save from him, with Vinnie Smith, following up, smashing a blistering drive from the edge of the box against the angle of the post and crossbar.

Then disaster struck for Glenmuir when goalkeeper McKenny spilled the ball and it went straight to Hughes who swiftly snapped up the gift with the goal at his mercy just under the half-hour.

The goalkeeper protested to the referee in vain over what he felt was an infringement.

McKenny proved his worth again to deny Smith, while his opposite number David Cooney brought off a flying save inside the post from a powerful drive by Paddy Nicholson.

Then the wily Paudie Hearty demonstrated the real difference between the sides less than 10 minutes later with an exquisite chip finish from the right edge of the 18-yard line. The home goalkeeper back-pedalled onto his line but couldn't stretch high enough to prevent the ball sailing over his head underneath the crossbar.

To their credit Glenmuir continued to fashion good scoring opportunities and Paddy Nicholson tested Cooney, while the latter saved with his feet, and with his defence in disarray Deane Brown should have scored from the rebound but had his shot blocked.

Hughes killed the tie with his second goal - a simple tap-in - after goalkeeper McKenny could only palm a high ball straight to him on the edge of the six-yard box after 53 minutes.

Hearty also notched his second goal with the last kick of the game to perhaps put a flattering gloss on the scoreline. Certainly, Glenmuir will gain a lot of belief from their performance as they mount a final push to secure promotion and land their divisional title.

Glenmuir: David McKenny, Liam McKenny, Daniel Mulligan, Shane Taaffe, Edgar Bitanis, Peter McDermott, Conor Nicholson, Liam Cunningham, Lorcan Doyle, Patrick Nicholson, Dean Browne. Subs: Tolani, Danny Mullen, Conor Richardson.

Muirhevnamor: David Cooney, Philip Duffy, Mickey O'Kane, Brian Begley, Cody McAreavey Brendan Hughes, Ciaran Jameson, Gary Clarke, Vinny Smith, Martin Smith, Paudie Hearty. Sub: Sean Conlon.

The Argus