Maghera close in on title
Dungiven Celtic Res...1
WITH only several weeks left until the league winds up for this season, Maghera Strollers are forced into playing extra games during the week.
A wet and windy Monday evening may have been an annoyance for the spectators who huddled together for cover under the trees, but it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of Maghera Strollers.
For a period around the half hour mark, Dungiven began to apply more pressure and at this stage it was anybody’s game for the taking.
A chance for Strollers minutes later saw Mark O’Donnell’s shot fly high above the bar and this was followed up by a decent Stefan O’Donnell effort which just went over also. A nice piece of combination passing by Christopher O’Kane, O’Donnell and McErlean resulted in a great chance for the Strollers to take the lead but O’Kane’s shot was covered by the keeper.
Around 35 minutes Strollers’ keeper McCallan thwarted a real Dungiven chance when he just caught the ball with his foot as he covered with his body near the edge of the box.
The Strollers seemed to respond to the immediate threat by upping their game. The chance came just minutes before half-time when a corner was swung into the box and McKenna found himself with space before nodding the ball down towards goal and although it was going in Merron made sure.
The Strollers began the second half with a spring in their step. The goal and the half-time grilling had added an impetus to their game.
On 55 minutes Caolan McGuckin’s long ball towards the box seem to hang in the air for ages before finding O’Doherty whose harrying of the keeper forces him to drop the ball and he dutifully taps it into the net for the Strollers second.
On 62 minutes a Dungiven break resulted in a great run down the right wing which ended in a blisting drive into the top right corner of the Strollers’ net.
But the glimmer of hope was short-lived as 20 seconds after the restart McGuckin was brought down in the Dungiven box and the awarded penalty was converted by O’Kane who left the keeper rooted to the spot.
Substitute Conal McKee made an impact almost immediate as he sailed a free-kick from the near half-way line which spectacularly swept into the top-right corner for a contender of goal of the season.
Five minutes later O’Connor was let loose down the right wing and his pinpoint cross found O’Doherty in the box and again he made no mistake as he side-footed the ball into the roof of the net to seal the game five goals to one.
This impressive second half performance by Maghera Strollers sees them sitting in second position with four points behind the league leaders and three games in hand.
Maghera Strollers: Piaras McCallan, Declan McErlean, Mark O’Connor, Stephen Merron, Dermot O’Doherty, Ryan Winton, Jerome McKenna, Stefan O’Donnell, Caolan McKee, Christopher O’Kane, Mark O’Donnell. Subs: Caolan McGuckin; Gary O’Doherty; Conal McKee.
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Weather for Londonderry
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South