Sunday 16 June 2019

Porto claim the bragging rights in season finale against Malahide

Soccer, Leinster Senior League, Senior Div Sunday: Malahide United 0 Portmarnock 3

Paul Byrne

Portmarnock claimed the local bragging rights in this end-of-season derby following a comprehensive three-goal victory over Malahide.

This was the final match of the season for both sides and as well as bragging rights Malahide were looking for three points which would see them leapfrog St Mochta's and finish fourth in the final table.

The home side's form coming into the game wasn't great, however, with three losses in their four previous matches - including a 3-1 defeat to local rivals Swords Celtic.

Portmarnock were also struggling for form, with three losses in their previous four, including a shock 3-2 defeat to already relegated Firhouse Clover a week earlier.

The game between these two sides had finished all square earlier on in the season and most in attendance were expecting another tight match on Friday evening.

Malahide began the game well and created the first scoring chance of the evening when Rob Duggan played in Gareth Craven who took a touch before firing a shot just wide of the target.

Portmarnock gradually began to come into the game and after a good spell of possession they took the lead after 20 minutes through in-form striker Sam O'Connor. A ball was whipped in from the left and O'Connor rose highest before flicking the ball into the top corner with his head.

Porto almost doubled their lead five minutes later when Darren Craven tried his luck from distance, but Malahide keeper Dylan Nulty got down well to keep his side in the game.

Malahide should have grabbed an equaliser just before the break, but they were denied as Brian Kane tipped over Jordi Ebanda's shot to ensure the visitors maintained their slender lead going in at the break.

Malahide needed a quick start to the second half and they almost got it when Ebanda unleashed a fierce shot which was well saved by Kane in the Porto goal.

That save would prove crucial, with the visitors going straight down the other end to score a second goal and put some daylight between the sides. And what a goal it was!

There seemed little danger as the ball landed at Alan O'Shaughnessy's feet, but the striker flicked the ball up for himself before unleashing an outrageous 40-yard dipping volley which flew into the top corner of the net. Malahide keeper Dylan McNulty was left helpless as the ball whizzed by him to put Porto 2-0 up with 40 minutes to play.

Porto were well on top now and should have put the game beyond Malahide with 15 minutes remaining as Sam O'Connor found himself one-on-one with the keeper.

O'Connor shot early, but McNulty got down really well to turn the ball around the post for a corner for the visitors.

Portmarnock did manage to score a decisive third goal 10 minutes before the end and this time O'Connor turned provider as he switched play with a glorious cross-field pass which found Barry Caulfield and he rifled the ball into the bottom corner to cap a fine day for the visitors.

The result sees Portmarnock move up to sixth place on 38 points, just two points behind Malahide who finish the season in fifth.

Malahide Utd: Dylan McNulty, Evan Mooney, Ciaran McGahon, Mark O'Brien, Glen Daly, Dylan Cashin, Cillian Timmins, Darren Craven, Jordi Ebanda, Rob Duggan, Gareth Craven

Portmarnock: Brian Kane, Barry Caulfield, Jamie McGlynn, Noel McGinnity, Robbie Gaul, Mark Cassidy, David Sheppard, Darren McCormack, Sam O'Connor, Graham Rusk, Alan O'Shaughnessy.

Fingal Independent