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O'Shaughnessy completes super comeback in Paddy's Hill cracker

Portmarnock FC ... ... ............... ... ... 4

Stella Maris ... ... ... ... ... .............. ... 3

AT Paddy's Hill both these 18 Premier teams reached the summit.

It was an evening kick-off. It finished in near darkness. The 90 minutes was full of bright things.

aul Moran was the ref. He brought his own brand of showmanship to the occasion. The players love his style.

Humour is never far away. A chap tried to pinch a few yards at a throw-in.

"Walk any further, and you'll be down on the beach," quipped Paul.

There was pre-match drama. Portmarnock goalkeeper, Sean Grace, injured himself in the warm-up. He wasn't able to start.

He came on late in the match and helped the Ports to their second win from two. They had beaten Firhouse Carmel away.

They really had to work for this one. Stella threw the Malahide estuary at the home goal as they tried to get the late equaliser they would have deserved.

The hosts stood tall in every sense. Four minutes from time, Conor McMahon took Craig Kavanagh's goal-bound thundering free-kick full on the body.

That kind of commitment ran through the tie. Stella lost their opener to Kilnamanagh. It won't be long before they'll be moving up the mountain.

They possess several skilful footballers. Darragh Brady is among their finest. In the first half he forced Ross Moore to a diving save and then, after a neat turn on the left edge of the area, he curled a shot inches wide of the far post.

Stella were ahead 2-1 at the break. That was despite conceding the first goal in the 14th minute.

It was a quality finish at the clubhouse end. Ian O'Meara showed good feet on the edge of the box, skipping over a couple of tackles before tucking in off the inside of the left-hand post.

Lee Mooney almost had a second. On the counter, he sprinted clear of the cover. It took the bravery of goalie, Aaron Kelly, to stop him.

Darragh Brady's well-drilled corner from the left brought a perfect header from the in-rushing Kurtis Brady for the equaliser.

Darragh was also involved in the second goal in first half injury-time. His centre from the left was nudged on by Dean Byrne. Anthony O' Callaghan got on the end of it and, with little room to work with and surrounded by bodies, he still managed to find the corner.

Alan O'Shaughnessy made it 2-2 six minutes into the second period following clever play down the right and an intelligent pull-back by Mooney.

Stella then took the lead again six minutes later when Conor Farrell was in the right position to finish off Sean Doolin's fine work on the right wing.

It was level for the third time on 68 minutes when, following a mighty scramble in the visitor's box, Conor Minto got the decisive touch.

It looked like it could end in a draw, but O'Shaughnessy, a clever player, again found space on the back post where he remained as cool as the breeze sweeping in off the sea.

Portmarnock FC: Ross Moore; Lee Dunne, David Shevlin, Conor Minto, Conor McMahon, Daragh Coates, Joseph O'Riordan, Adam Byrne, Ian O'Meara, Lee Mooney, Alan O'Shaughnessy. Sean Grace, Cian Molloy.

Stella Maris: Aaron Kelly; Darren Roche, Anthony O'Callaghan, Gary May, Craig Kavanagh, Sean Lawson, Sean Doolin, Kurtis Brady, Darragh Brady, Dean Byrne, Gerry Kavanagh. Conor Farrell, Adam Bolton, Joe Walshe.

Referee: Paul Moran


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