| 5.9°C Dublin

farm work hard for their breaks

Home Farm....................................................3

Malahide United............................................0

A CARPET of snow on the Mobhi Road pitch yesterday morning. Picture perfect for Ski Sunday.

But Referee Brendan Hunter gave the Michael McKiernan 15 Premier tie the go ahead. On his final whistle, the turf was covered by a blanket of cultured studs.

Brendan's decision was a wise one.The sod was soft underneath and the snow eventually melted away.

The echo of Farm's splendid showing lingered for a lot longer. For the eighty minutes, they were dancing on ice.

"That was one of our best performances of the season. The lads worked their socks off," stated Farm's Willie Bell.

"We were very happy with the overall display, right from our goalkeeper, Ian Lawlor, through to our forwards, who never stopped grafting. That's a result that keeps us in it."

Willie also praised the midfield department and the defence, who never gave away a jelly tot. Their tackling was swift and sure. The slide tackles of Keith Cooley were as crisp as a snow flake.

Malahide's Shane Woods tested the quality of Farm's back door. His pace and trickery would worry most rearguards. His United colleague, Conor Mullarkey, has a sweet touch, while in the busy visiting defence, Adam Sheedy put in a worthy shift.

Overall, and inspite of the conditions, there was no shortage of fine football. It was all about instant control and sharp passing. Pause for a second and the ball would be whipped off your toe.

Malahide are looking to climb the stairs. They made the brighter start attacking the city end. Only a brilliant one-handed save from the highly-rated Lawlor foiled Ciaran McGahan of an early goal.

Farm took the lead in the 15th minute. Jamie McGlynn sent a delivery towards the left wing. Paul Donnellan did well to get over the cross which Lee Halford-Lynch turned in.

Farm grew in authority after that. It was still 1-0 at the break. Malahide's aim was a quick equaliser in the second half. Instead, two minutes in, it was Daniel Buckingham, a silky, inventive footballer, who cracked in a delightful twenty yarder.

That put the cap on it. Malahide kept at it, but not one decent chance dropped through their letter-box. The Glasnevin double-glazing was just too strong. In the 67th minute, Michael Maloney-Byrne, from a left-footed in-swinging free on the right from McGlynn, glanced a header inches wide.

Two minutes later, Maloney-Byrne, who had a superb game, centred from the left for Roddy Collins to tap in from inches.

As as his Da, Roddy Senior, the new Lord of the Manor at Turners Cross, might say, it's all about being in the right place at the right time.

That's an art that the super Hoops had perfected, all over the pitch, all day long.

Home Farm: Ian Lawlor; Robert Cornwall, Lee Kennedy, Keith Cooley, Alan Swan, Lee Halford-Lynch, Jamie McGlynn, Daniel Buckingham, Robert McKenna, Michael Maloney-Byrne, Paul Donnellan. Roddy Collins, Aaron Byrne, Daniel Cookman.

Malahide United: Gary Wilde; Ciaran Callaghan, Colm Curtis, Glen Daly, Adam Sheedy, Darren Craven, Ciaran McGahan, Mark Brennan, Shane Woods, Conor Mullarkey, Ruairi Deasy. Niall Kenny, Gavin Kenny, Adam Byrne, Michael Scott, Michael O'Hara.

Referee: Brendan Hunter (pictured on left, above).