NW FOOTBALL: McGonigle nets five goals in Rovers impressive win

Roe Rovers striker Brendan McGonigle (yellow kit) scored five goals in their win over Claudy United.
Roe Rovers striker Brendan McGonigle (yellow kit) scored five goals in their win over Claudy United.

It was raining goals at Scroggy Road on Saturday as Roe Rovers and Claudy United shared 10, in an action packed game.

The Limavady men in the end ran out 7-3 victors and in truth there could have been a lot more goals.

Rovers should have taken an early lead when Ciaran Deery’s free-kick beat everyone leaving the late arrival of right wing back Finbar O’Brien with what looked like a tap in at the back post, but he failed to hit the target.

The deadlock was broke on ten minutes when Tommy Hassan’s super diagonal ball found Brendan McGonigle and his looping header found the back of the net.

On the half hour mark Rovers doubled the lead when Loughlain Toland received the ball on the bobbly surface and Delle Ali style flicked it over his marker before his low centre to the front post was flicked home by Brendan McGonigle.

Minutes later Brendan McGonigle completed his hat-trick and the game was over as a contest when Jack McGonigle, showed great left wing before his cross found his namesake and he made no mistake from the edge of the box, firing high into the top corner.

Rovers got complacent thinking this was job done and Claudy pulled a goal when Simon Morrow fired home after Trevor McSparron’s initial show was kept out.

Rovers restored the three goal cushion on 40 minutes with the pace of Deery and Darrel Mulgrew combining to set up Brendan McGonigle to finish for a half-time score of 4-1.

It took only a minute of the restart for McGonigle to almost grab a fifth.

Deery’s left wing cross to the back post found Brendan McGonigle, but his shot was well blocked by Hyndman.

Rovers then netted their fifth in the 49th minute when another terrific through ball from Toland found Jack McGonigle and he beat the keeper with his first touch, diverting the ball into the net, despite the best attempts of the United net-minder.

Claudy replied immediately switching to three attackers and from a left wing cross Jack Robinson headed home a good goal. Just after the hour mark another super through ball by Toland released Mulgrew one on one with the keeper, but he took it early and tried to knock it round the advancing keeper but sent it wide.

On 65 minutes Rovers won a free-kick on the edge of the box and Mulgrew thought third time lucky; but his effort hit the top of the crossbar and he realised it wasn’t his day to be among the goals.

Then a shocking miss in the 72nd minute when Jack McGonigle was through on goal with keeper to beat but he squared it to Brendan McGonigle but his effort was kept out and Mulgrew’s follow-up shot hit the post.

Rovers netted a sixth with 15 minutes left when Jack McGonigle again set up his strike partner and father Brendan to score his fifth goal of the game and his 121st for the club.

Both statistics a massive compliment to a great servant of the club and now in his forties he sets such an example to the rest of the group.

On 80 minutes and Jack McGonigle did get his second when Jay Clyde played him to make it 7-2.

Claudy showed their renowned spirit when they played to the end and got another good goal when a good cross from the left was powerfully headed home from their star performer Morrow to wrap up the scoring at 7-3.