MDL Prem Reserve sign off the season with a win
Carrick Rovers 2-0 Glaslough Villa
Rovers 2nd team ended their league campaign on a high with a tough fought win over our neighbours Glaslough Villa.
The game started at a frantic pace and the much younger Villa side pinned back Rovers in the early encounters, on two occasions in the first ten minutes, Davy Watters in Carrick goal had to be alert and come off his line and clear under pressure from the Villa forwards. As the first half wore on Rovers got more and more into the game and began to enjoy a greater share of possession and were beginning to find joy down their right hand side with Karl (Ducky) McMahon, Gavin McMahon and Richard Kerwick linking up well. Rovers started to exert more and more pressure on the Villa rearguard, with Rory McEneaney and Darren McGlone leading the front line extremely well. On the 33rd minute Rovers finally got their breakthrough, more good work down the right side and some great link up play involving Karl McMahon, Richard Kerwick, Padraig Shannon and Darren McGlone released Gavin McMahon down the right. As Gavin crossed to the far post the committed Villa centre half had no option but to commit a foul. Gavin brushed himself down and floated the most exquisite ball to the back post where both Eddie Sherry and Paul Babington were queuing up; it was Paul who got to the ball first to bullet a header to the back of the net. For the rest of the first half Rovers contained Villa with the back four of Karl McMahon, Martin McGlynn, Paul Babington and Warren Kerley putting in a tight and resolute display.
The second half started much the way the first half did, with Villa gaining dominance in the middle of the park. From here they pinned Rovers back for most of the off the first 15 minutes. Whenever Villa got behind Rovers, Davy Watters was alert as ever and mopped up all Villa threw at Rovers. After 15 minutes Rovers got in a tangle, gifting Villa a chance, Davy Watters saved well on the first effort but was stranded for the rebound with Warren Kerley coming to Rovers rescue and clearing off the line. This was the wakeup call Rovers badly needed. From a resulting kick out Darren McGlone took two Villa players to him leaving Rory McEneaney in a race with the keeper to be first to the ball, Rory getting their first took the option off lobbing the keeper who was now out of his box. This he done expertly but somehow the Villa keeper kept the ball out with a huge cry from the Rovers faithful for a handball, the referee gave nothing. Rovers at this stage had introduced both Shane McMahon and Simon Marron. Rovers now started to get a grip in the middle and Padraig Shannon began to influence the game more and more. Rovers swapped players about moving Simon Marron wide right and Gavin McMahon up front. Rovers were now stretching the Villa rearguard on both wings with Eddie Sherry probing down the left and Simon Marron down the right. With less than 15 minutes left on the clock, Rovers got the all important second. Simon Marron fed Gavin McMahon down the right side; he bet two Villa defenders to get to the bye line and crossed to the unmarked Darren McGlone. Rising high at the back post and with a lot to do Darren expertly guided the ball to the far top corner and out of the Villa keepers reach. Where was this man all year, in one and a half games Darren has scored two goals and staked a claim for a starting berth next year. Rovers comfortably seen out the last fifteen minutes of the match to record a hard fought win and return back top off the table.
Team: David Watters, Karl McMahon, Martin McGlynn (Shane McMahon H/T), Warren Kerley, Paul Babington, Gavin McMahon, Padraig Shannon, Richard Kerwick, Eddie Sherry, Darren McGlone, Rory McEneaney (Simon Marron 56Mins) –