Suncroft AFC went joint top of the Spar Moorefield Masters Division 2 on Saturday when they defeated top side Caragh Celtic while they also have the luxury of two games in hand on their rivals.
Spar Moorefield Masters Division 2
Suncroft AFC: 2
Caragh Celtic: 0
Suncroft started the brighter and piled on the pressure from the tip off. The Croft’s Dwayne Feane was first to threaten however his well struck effort from just outside the box was well saved by Ciaran O’Toole in the Caragh goal after five minutes.
Midway through the half Feane played a neat one two with Johnny Burke however Burke’s shot was cleared off the line by visiting defender Pat Fitzharris and eventually cleared to safety by Declan Mahon.
Suncroft continued their onslaught and Tony McHugh got in on the action on the half hour when he went on a mazy run through midfield unchallenged however his effort from 18 yards was agonisingly wide of the Caragh right post.
Suncroft’s determination finally paid off with five minutes remaining in the first half when some great work in midfield from Willie Dunne and Shane McHale released Dwayne Feane on the left and he shot low and hard from close range past the despairing dive of Ciaran O’Toole in the visitors goal. Caragh almost snatched an equaliser, against the run of play just before the half time whistle when a long ball out of defence was met by Leo Kiely who split the home defence however his snap shot was expertly saved by Derek Meade in the Croft goal to leave Suncroft going in 1-0 up at the break.
Caragh came out more determined in the second half having weathered the storm for long periods of the first and lucky to be behind by such a slender margin. Niall Nolan and Pauraic Heffernan were winning the battle in midfield and giving more options to their front men Matthew Hannigan and John Heffernan. However a culmination of poor finishing and expert defending by the Croft back four of Brian Vardy, Alan Dignam, Kieran Phelan and Eugene Donovan, kept the threat at bay.
Midway through the second half Suncroft broke and a great move involving Eugene Donovan and Willie Dunne saw Tony McHugh run at the Caragh defence, his cross come shot was headed into the Caragh goal by Caragh defender Roy Pearson to give Suncroft a 2-0 lead and leave Caragh with a mountain to climb. Despite the best efforts of the visitors, Leo Kiely and Matthew Hannigan could find no was past the Croft defence and the home side held out for an impotant three points and promotion in their sights.
Best for the winners were Eugene Donovan in defence, Willie Dunne in midfield and Dwayne Feane up front. While for the visitors Leo Kiely impressed.
Derek Meade, Brian Vardy, Kieran Phelan, Alan Dignam, Eugene Donovan, Willie Dunne, Shane McHale, Dave Williamson, Tony McHugh, Dwayne Feane, John Burke, John Walshe, Ken Conroy, Keith Reddy.
Ciaran O’Toole, Roy Pearson, Pat Fitzharris, Ian Arnold, Declan Mahon, Colm O’Rourke, Niall Nolan, Pauraic Heffernan, Leo Kiely, Matthew Hannigan, John Heffernan, Derek LaHarte, Mark Hughes and Eamonn Sharpe.