Port­marnock shake mon­key off their back

Fingal Independent - - SPORT - BY PAUL BYRNE


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.

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