Thursday 18 July 2019

It's hats off to McKenna as Skerries step up title push

Division 1A Sunday: Skerries Town 3 Beggsboro 1

Paul Byrne

Hat-trick hero Bob McKenna fired Skerries into the top four with three clinical goals to leave his Skerries side just two points off top spot with a game in hand.

This was Skerries' fourth win in five matches and in this form they will surely be there or thereabouts in the hunt for promotion come the end of the season.

Alan Sweeney's side have bounced back well from a narrow 1-0 defeat against league leaders Kilnamanagh two weeks ago with two solid wins against Dunboyne and Beggsboro to ensure they end 2018 on a high.

Skerries had previously played Beggsboro this season in the cup where they came out on top 5-1, but the Navan Road side have improved since that clash and served notice of that fact with an excellent 2-1 away win against second-placed Dublin University the weekend before last.

Skerries began the game well, with Eoin Dempsey in particular seeing plenty of the ball early on down the right-hand side.

Beggsboro gradually got into the game and had the first shot on goal from distance, which was easily gathered by Skerries number one Dylan Sweeney. The deadlock was broken by the home side after 25 minutes following some excellent work down the right by Eoin Dempsey and Reece Weldon.

The duo split open the Beggsboro defence with a series of one-twos before Dempsey hit a low cross to the waiting McKenna who headed the ball into the bottom corner.

Beggsboro pushed for an equaliser as the first half drew to a close, but Skerries looked rick solid at the back as they dealt with everything that came their way. Just before the break the visitors almost drew level thanks to a rocket of a shot from their midfielder, but Dylan Sweeney reacted well to tip the ball over the bar and ensure Skerries went in at the break with a slender 1-0 lead.

Sweeney was called into action once again early in the second half with another fine save from a long-range shot as Beggsboro began to push players forward in search of an equaliser.

Skerries soaked up the pressure before doubling their lead with a lightning counter-attack as McKenna claimed his second goal of the match.

Paul O'Carroll broke down the left before cutting the ball back for McKenna who twisted and turned before firing off a shot which took a slight deflection before finding the corner of the net.

That, it seemed, was that, but to Beggsboro's credit they refused to lie down and got their rewards when they scored from a rebound after a free kick was parried away by Sweeney in the Skerries goal.

The visitors pushed hard for an equaliser, but Skerries stood tall and took advantage of space in behind with another quick break which allowed McKenna to stroke home his third goal of the game to seal the points for Alan Sweeney's men.

Skerries Town: Dylan Sweeney, Emmet Mullen (Harry Nugent), Ken Costello, Barry Davey, Keith O'Callaghan, Paul O'Carroll (Shane Langan), Shane Kiely, Eoin Dempsey, Darren Lynch, Reece Weldon (Andy Kavanagh), Bob McKenna (Barry O'Mahony).

Fingal Independent