Portmarnock shake monkey off their back
PORTMARNOCK 2 BANGOR CELTIC 1
PORTMARNOCK shook a giant monkey off their back on Sunday morning as they finally recorded their very first win in top-flight intermediate football.
Willie O’leary’s side drew one and lost three of their opening four games in Senior Sunday and were in dire need of a victory over Bangor Celtic to get themselves up and running in their new surroundings.
The first real chance of the game came after 15 minutes, with Graham Rusk heading just wide following good work down the left from Barry Caulfield.
Portmarnock created a couple of other half chances before the break, but to Bangor Celtic’s credit they defended well and managed to keep clear-cut chances at a premium for O’leary’s side.
With the first half about to come to a close the visitors broke the deadlock with a goal Brian Kane will not look back too fondly on. The Portmarnock goalkeeper dropped a simple cross and was punished for his error as the Bangor Celtic striker gleefully tapped the ball home from close range.
Whatever O’leary said at the break seemed to have the desired effect on his players, though, as Portmarnock went through the gears and began to completely dominate the game.
A deserved equaliser arrived on the hour mark - and what a goal it was.
Portmarnock were awarded a free kick 30 yards out from the Bangor Celtic goal and with one sweep of his right foot Caulfield found the top right-hand corner to draw his side level.
Portmarnock were not content with a point, however, and they continued to push forward in search of a winner.
With 15 minutes remaining Darragh Coates broke down the left before crossing it in towards Chris Burgess. The Porto striker helped the ball on to David Sheppard who slammed the ball home from close range to put the hosts 2-1 up.
Portmarnock saw out the game with little fuss to record their first win of the season and move clear of the relegation zone.
Afterwards, O’leary spoke of his relief at getting that first win on the board.
‘I’m glad we’ve finally got that monkey off our backs as, believe it or not, we’ve actually been playing really well lately. We’ve created so many chances in recent games but just haven’t been getting the rub of the green.
‘Even today we dominated the first half but still went in 1-0 behind at the break.
‘I just told them at half-time to keep on doing what they were doing and to not let more points slip away.
‘To their credit they played really well in the second half and it was a well-deserved victory.’ PORTMARNOCK: Brian Kane, Warren Taylor, Phillip Rusk, Niall Kenny, Daniel Butler, Ray Whelehan, Sean Kennedy, Barry Caulfield, Chris Burgess, Graham Rusk, Joseph O’ Riordan. Subs: Darragh Coates for Warren Taylor, David Shepherd for Barry Caulfield, Sam O’connor for Graham Rusk, Callum Riches for Sean Kennedy.
Portmarnock goalkeeper Brian Kane.