Friday 19 January 2018

Hunt steals show as shels are outclassed

Shelbourne 0 Leeds United 4

Noel Hunt
Noel Hunt

NOEL HUNT enjoyed a happy return to Ireland last night by scoring one goal and setting up another for his new club Leeds United in front of 2,177 spectators at Tolka Park.

Although the Irish international was one of only five first-team squad members brought to Dublin by Brian McDermott for this friendly, his side cruised to victory over a full-strength Shels team.

McDermott, who says he wants to manage the Republic of Ireland later in his career, was joined on the bench for the 90 minutes by his trusted confidant, agent, and ex St Patrick's Athletic manager Pat Dolan.

He didn't need any of Dolan's detailed local insight to be aware of Shels' suspect defence and the strugglers were unlocked by a Zac Thompson long ball within 15 minutes.

New signing Hunt gleefully accepted the freedom of the park by lobbing Lee Murphy from 12 yards for an impressive opener.

The Waterford native (pictured) turned provider on 28 minutes by teeing up Ryan Hall on the edge of the box, who sent his fierce strike low into the bottom right corner.

Shels barely got a sniff on goal all night and would have fallen further behind early in the second half but for a superb save by substitute 'keeper Niall Burdon from Chris Dawson's stinging shot.

The third goal did arrive on the hour when defender Ross Killock nodded past Burdon after Smith had headed Alex Mowatt's header back across the six-yard box.

Hall then grabbed his brace 18 minutes from full-time, latching onto a Smith knock-down to steer his volley beyond Burdon.

SHELBOURNE – L Murphy (Burdon 46); Shortall (Cornwall 46), Gartland (Andrews 46), Ryan (O'Connor 46), Doyle (Memery 46, O'Neill 63); Prizeman (Fox 72), Hurley (Donnelly 62), Flynn (Cronin 78), Tinnelly; Kelly (Walshe 46), Murtagh (Birnsumba 82).

LEEDS UNITED – Cairns; Thompson, Killock, Taylor, Drury; Dawson (Coyle 74), Austin, Mowatt ; Hunt, Hall, Smith. Ref – P Tuite (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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