A real baptism of fire for new boys Boyne Harps
PREMIER Division new boys Boyne Harps received a baptism of fire from Woodview Celtic in Dundalk on Sunday morning.
The away side were in determined mood and signalled their intentions as early as the fourth minute when Barry McDonald broke free from Woodview defender Cathal Bellew and fired a shot towards goal, but his effort didn't trouble Padraig Gorham.
Manny Smith was controlling the early exchanges in midfield and set up Keith Mulally in the tenth minute but he saw his shot go well over the bar. In the sixteenth minute Woodview were reduced to ten men as Conor McErlean pulled down Barry McDonald as he ran through on goal and referee Brian Murphy had no choice but to brandish the red card for the defender.
As Woodview struggled to adjust McDonald raced through one-on-one with Padraig Gorham, but the stopper made a fine block.
Woodview slowly started to find their rhythm and carved out a few chances before Gerard Rafferty was on hand to toe poke home after a corner caused some confusion in the box. After Boyne's early dominance it was Woodview who were ahead at the break.
The home side needed that lift and came out to the second half a transformed side with Stephen Grimes starting to get a grip of midfield and Fisher and Hearty combining well upfront.
They were rewarded when Stephen Fisher was pulled down in the box by Bob Daly and Andrew Duffy made no mistake with the spot kick.
Ten Minutes later Paul Warnock saw his free kick go sky high over the Boyne crossbar, before Barry McDonald's beat past three Woodview, but was denied by an upright.
With eleven minutes to go Stephen Grimes put the result beyond all doubt with an exquisite lob and six minutes later it went from bad to worse for Boyne as a mistake in their backline allowed Stephen Fisher to tap home from close range.
Then right on the final whistle Woodview made it five as Padraig Hearty was on hand to slot home after some good work by Grimes.
Woodview Celtic are the early favourites for the Nivea for Men Premier Division and despite a slow start they showed why.
Woodview Celtic: Padraig Gorham, Ray McCann, Paul Warnock (Tommy O Hare 78), Conor McErlean, Cathal Bellew, Paul McArdle, Stephen Grimes, Andrew Duffy, Stephen Fisher, Padraig Hearty, Gerard Rafferty (Mickey O Kane 78).
Boyne Harps: Helder Gonzales, Luke Traynor, Ciaran Hartnett, Shane Kierans, Bob Daly, Manny Smith, Darren McCann, Mark Mallocca, Ronan McEntaggert (Helder Mota 55), Barry McDonald, Keith Mulally (Fabio Teles 85).
REFEREE: Brian Murphy.