Marsh Celtic 0-6 Carrick Rovers
Carrick Rovers opened up their Meath and District 2010/2011 Premier Division campaign on Sunday last at the Grammar School in Drogheda when they comfortably accounted for Premier Division newcomers Marsh Celtic. The Drogheda side had no answer to an excellent performance from a sharp looking Rovers side with striker Eamonn Lynch the man of the moment for the visitors with a superbly taken hat trick.
Knowing that Marsh would be firing on all cylinders in their first Premier Division outing, Rovers opened as if they meant business and were very quick out of the blocks to put the home side under pressure from the off. With captain Brian Marron and Barry Woods pulling the strings in midfield Rovers created the first chance with just 3 mins on the clock when a lovely weaving run from Barry Woods into the penalty area saw him being denied by a last ditch tackle as he was about to shoot.
Rovers were not to be denied just 4 mins later however when they opened their account with an excellent goal. Wide midfielder Wayne Kerley took off on a great run down the left before whipping a great cross into the danger area where striker Eamonn Lynch was on hand to hammer home on the half volley from 12 yds. Rovers doubled their advantage in the 15thminute when a free on the left by Barry Woods found Wayne Kerley and once again Lynch was on hand to hit a first time shot to the net from Kerleys cross. Marsh were shell shocked at this stage and Rovers took full advantage in the 22ndmin when they surged into a 3 goal lead. This time Lynch turned provider when he took off on a great run down the left, beating 2 men before delivering an inch perfect cross into strike partner Brendan Kerley, and Kerley met the cross first time on the volley from 8 yds, for an excellent goal to put the visitors into a comfortable lead.
Marsh battled hard and stemmed the flow for the remainder of the half with a far post header from Brian Marron which went narrowly wide, after a corner from Wayne Kerley the closest Rovers came to extending the lead
All credit to Marsh as they started the second period with intent as they tried to find a way back into the game but their efforts came to nothing as Niall Babington and Ger Connolly were very solid in centre defence for Rovers, ably assisted by full backs Gary McCarthy and Martin McDermott. Rovers continued to create the better chances with Eamonn Lynch with a header and Gavin McMahon with a well struck volley which was well saved by the home keeper, going close. Lynch was then denied a hat trick in the 75thmin when his fiercely struck free kick from 30 yds cannoned back off the crossbar. Rovers were rewarded for their persistence moments later however when centre half Niall Babington found himself in an advanced position and his surging run took him past 3 defenders into the penalty area before he unleashed an unstoppable drive across the keeper into the far corner of the net to put the visitors four up.
Rovers pressed home as they finished the game strongly and they made it 5 in the 85thmin with another well taken goal. This time a free kick out on the left was touched to Martin McDermott by Barry Woods and his perfect cross into the box found substitute Gerard McGeown who sent a lovely header into the net from 8 yds. Rovers still had time to add a 6th goal in the 88thmin with McGeown once again to the fore. Having dispossessed the Marsh centre half on the half way line McGeown broke forward into the penalty area before unselfishly squaring the ball to Eamonn Lynch who tapped home to the empty net from 10 yds for the hat trick his overall performance deserved. The final whistle sounded moments later to see Rovers take a good 3 points from what was expected to be a tough fixture and to ensure that they made an excellent start to their league campaign on the back of an encouraging pre season. This was a good team performance from the Carrick side who now face another tricky away assignment when they travel to take on Woodview Celtic in Dundalk. A word of praise must also go to referee Jim McKenna, who handled the game in an excellent manner.Carrick Rovers: David Watters, Gary McCarthy, Martin McDermott, Ger Connolly, Niall Babington, Brian Marron, Wayne Kerley (Peter Maxwell 65), Barry Woods, Eamonn Lynch, Brendan Kerley (Warren Kerley 80), Gavin McMahon (Gerard McGeown 60), Sub not used – Clint Marron.