Hill Electrical Division 3
Kinnegad Junior con-solidated their mid table position with this emphatic win over understrength visitors Newbridge Hotpurs at Lagan Park on Sunday.
Kinnegad were led superbly by Steve Woods when he held the line superbly for Kinnegad Juniors and scored the goal of the season thus far on 37 minutes giving Hotspurs keeper John Kelly no chance.
Although 36-years-old, Woods’ fitness and energy remain outstandingly high. So does his decision-making and skill levels. A definite leader within this young Kinnegad team, his contribution to Sunday’s victory was immeasurable.
Yet he wasn’t the only leader nor player in form. Mark Greville, Kinnegad’s best player so far this season, had another fine game. And John Hickey, a survivor from the local club’s previous regime, Rossan Rovers, marked his return to the starting line-up with two goals.
Number one arrived on six minutes, courtesy of a Greville corner and a fine flicked header by Conor Kavanagh, one of seven players in the Kinnegad side aged 21 or younger.
With his back to goal, Hickey then looped his header over Kelly in the Hotspurs goal to put Kinnegad ahead
The tone of the game immediately changed. Until then, the visitors were maximising their strengths, carefully tucking their wide midfielders Darren Feane and Tom Nugent in tight to provide an additional shield for their defence well marshalled by Neil McDonnell and Com Kavanagh, and operating the split-striker role quite cleverly.
Discomforted by the concession of an early goal, they pushed forward with too much adventure 10 minutes later and were caught on the counter-attack when Andrew Butler broke from defence to beat the challenges of Mark Kavanagh and Nigel Purcell and slide the ball past the Kelly.
And then came Woods’ goal. Having altered his run to beat the Newbridge defence and offside trap, the striker showed poise with his first touch and brilliance with his second, lobbing the Kelly from 25 yards to make it 3-0.
Yet this game remained fiercely competitive. Newbridge enjoyed plenty of possession in the second half, having their own chances through Ben Kinsella and Gary Murray and could have scored had John Cheevers, the Kinnegad keeper, not made two fine saves.
At the other end, Kinnegad kept attacking. Man of the match, Mark Cox, the right-back, belied his 31 years to continually push forward. He started off the move which led to the fourth goal - one continued by Greville and tidily completed by Hickey.
Sub Dion McCaffrey nearly had a fifth, his run taking him past a defender before he fired narrowly over. But by now Kinnegad’s third win from six league games was complete.
John Cheevers, Mark Cox, Andrew Butler, Dean Butler, Justin Rock, John Percival, Conor Kavanagh, Mark Maguire, Steve Woods, John Hickey, Dave Ford, Dion McCaffrey, Phil hall, Jay Kenna and Mark Greville.
John Kelly, Niall McDonnell, Colm Kavanagh, Mark Monaghan, Nigel Purcell, Darren Feane, Dan Kavanagh, Tom Nugent, Bengi Landy, Gary Murray, Ben Kinsella, Scott McNamara, Frank Durney, Paul Fagan and Paul Harvey