Monday 25 March 2019

Burgess to the fore as Porto get off to flyer

Senior Div Sunday: Portmarnock 2 Newbridgetown 0

Paul Byrne

Another wonder goal from Chris Burgess set Portmarnock up for their second win in succession as they maintained their perfect start to the season.

Burgess scored a spectacular overhead kick against Ballymun in mid-week to seal victory for Willie O'Leary's side and he picked up where he left off on Sunday morning as he put Porto ahead against a defensive Newbridge side at Paddy's Hill.

Portmarnock began the game well but were frustrated early on by a solid defensive unit, with Newbridge keeping ten men behind the ball in the opening exchanges.

Portmarnock were enjoying the lion's share of possession, but when they did get past the Newbridge defence they found the visiting goalkeeper in inspired form as he pulled off a number of fine saves to keep his side in it.

Chances fell to Chris Burgess, Jordan Connell and Ross Moran in the opening half, but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping ensured the score remained level going into the break.

The second half saw the game open up a bit more as Porto continued to push forward in search of the breakthrough. It finally arrived on the hour mark as in-form Chris Burgess almost ripped the back of the net apart with a sensational finish after great work on the left from Connell. That was the Porto striker's second goal in as many games and he looks as though he is going to score many more this season, judging by his early season form.

Porto should have doubled their lead five minutes later when they were awarded a penalty, but Ross Moran was denied on the double as the Newbridge keeper saved his penalty and followed it up with another brilliant save from the rebound. That gave Newbridge a lift as they enjoyed their best spell of the match and finally began to attack the Porto goal.

However, just when it looked as though it was going to be a nervy final twenty minutes for the home side, up popped Robert Gaul to seal the game for Porto. Ross Moran won the ball in midfield before finding Gaul on the edge of the Newbridge box. Gaul took a touch before firing a low, hard shot which beat the Newbridge keeper before finding the bottom corner of the net. It wss an excellent goal which gave the hosts a 2-0 lead, and even the most optimistic of Newbridge fans must have known the game was up at that stage.

The home side saw out the game comfortably to record their second victory in five days to make it two wins from two this season, but Willie O'Leary knows that there will be tougher challenges ahead. For now, though, his side can reflect on an excellent opening to their Senior Sunday campaign.

Portmarnock: Brian Kane, Sean Murphy, Ian O'Reilly, Eric Whelan, Jamie McGlynn, Barry Caulfield, Rob Gaul, Ross Moran, Jordan Connell, Chris Burgess, Kato Akamoto. Subs: Noel McGinty for Ross Moran, Joe O'Riordan for Barry Caulfield, Gary Mortimer for Chris Burgess.

Fingal Independent