Saturday 17 August 2019

In-form Ports set their sights on silverware

PJ Murray

Portmarnock booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Moore Cup with this win away to St Joseph's on Sunday morning.

St Joseph's Boys 0 Portmarnock 3

St Joseph's are currently third in the LSL Senior Sunday 1B and both sides would have been familiar with each other, having faced off on numerous occasions before Ports finally got promoted.

The result makes it three wins on the bounce for Ports, and also they now have three clean sheets for their efforts.

The St Joseph's pitch left a lot to be desired. It's laid on a slight incline and Ports were playing with the hill in the first half.

The visitors showed signs of their intentions early on as Noel McGinty flashed a shot wide inside the first five minutes. Chris Burgess then tried his luck, but his effort was saved. The signs were positive, though.

Ports' opening strike was a brilliantly worked goal. Dave Reddan played a pass to Chris Burgess whose first touch stunned the ball and he flicked it through to Philip Rusk. From 20 yards out Rusk powered a shot well out of reach of the Josephs keeper.

Ports doubled their lead 10 minutes later. This time Callum Riches started the move and he linked up well with Niall O'Connell. He in turn picked out Chris Burgess who slotted the ball home, putting Ports in a very comfortable position.

That's how it stayed going into the half-time break, with Ports set to play up the hill in the second period.

St Joseph's threw a lot more players forward after the restart, but Ports were very much capable of dealing with it.

Robbie Byrne had to make some routine saves but nothing which really threatened the experienced keeper.

The back four showed a lot of composure to play the ball from deep and work it up the field in a very calculated way.

Ports netted their third goal on the hour mark when Alan O'Shaughnessy went on a sublime solo run, beating at least three players.

He had Chris Burgess and Niall O'Connell both as options, but he backed himself and buried his shot. Had he missed he would have had two very annoyed teammates.

It was very much game over at that point and Ports had no real trouble to withstand as Josephs looked a beaten side.

Although the league is the main focus for O'Leary, now they are in the quarter-final he says they will be looking to hopefully land some silverware.

Ports are once again in cup action on Friday when they travel to face St Francis in the FAI Intermediate Cup. The Ports manager is hoping he can extend the winning run to four and keep the good form continuing.

Portmarnock: Robbie Byrne, Dave Reddan, Danny Butler, Gareth Whelan, Aaron Egan, Callum Riches, Noel McGinty, Alan O'Shaughnessy, Philip Rusk, Niall O'Connell, Chris Burgess.

Fingal Independent