Strangford Under Pressure From Strong Ballynagross Side
The Newcastle and District Amateur Football League,
Premier League Match,
Venue Mountain Quarter, on Saturday 2nd December,
Ballynagross 9 1 Strangford FC
This was a local derby played out at a freezing cold Mountain Quarter but it was Ballynagross who turned up the heat on their neighbours and ran out comfortable winners in the end writes Cyril McKinney.
In the opening 20 minutes there was not much to separate the sides and it was the visitors who had the first clearcut chance after 16 minutes when Strangford number 9 Rory Sharvin shot wide in front of goal after being picked out by an Owen Curran right wing cross.
The deadlock was broken after a defensive mistake in the Strangford backline which allowed Daniel Taggart to fire past Gregory Holland in the Strangford nets on 25 minutes and a minute later it was 2-0 to the home side when Luke Shields was sent clear on goal with a quick through ball and he made no mistake and fired past Holland to double the ‘Gross lead.
This seemed to settle the home side who started to get their passing game working well and following great team passing from the keeper through midfield to the front line John Shields side footed home to make it 3-0 after a great cross from the hard working McComiskey on 33 minutes.
Strangford seemed rattled at this stage and tried to rally and Ballynagross needed their keeper Cathail Arnold to be at his best to keep out a Shea Savage curling shot destined for the top corner on 39 minutes and on 41 minutes an under-hit back pass to Arnold was intercepted by the alert Sharvin but unfortunately for the
Strangford striker he sent his shot wide of the target.
This miss proved costly for Strangford and following another great passage of play Taggart made it 4-0 after being picked out by John Shields with a pinpoint right wing cross on 43 minutes.
Into the second half and Strangford started brightly but were undone again on 51 minutes when substitute Sloan sent Taggart clear down the left wing and he made no mistake from close in to make it 5-0.
Strangford rallied again and enjoyed a lot of possession and pulled a goal back on 66 minutes through their number 9 Rory Sharvin who fire home from close range.
This goal seemed to lift the visitors spirits but they were caught on the break on 77 minutes when McComiskey raced clear to make it 6-1 which became 7-1 two minutes later when Luke Shields lobbed the keeper after being sent clear by a Joseph Burns through ball.
By this stage the Strangford resolve was clearly broken but the Ballynagross charge kept coming and Declan McComiskey used his trickery to get on the scoresheet firstly on 80 minutes and again on 86 minutes to leave the score at 9-1 to the home side.
To be fair this is a hard scoreline on the visitors but Ballynagross were ruthless when chances came their way.
Strangford keeper Gregory Holland deserves credit for keeping the scoreline down with a number of good stops but they could not deal with the industry of John Shields and the lively front trio of Luke Shields, Daniel Taggart and McComiskey.
Ballynagross FC: Cathail Arnold, Connor Marron, Christopher Laverty, Corey Davis , Conor Campbell, Joseph Burns, Declan McComiskey,Liam Graham, Luke Shields , Daniel Taggart, John Shields. Subs: Cathal Sloan for Liam Graham, Cillian McKermitt for Christopher Laverty, Conaire Creaney for Daniel Taggart.
Strangford FC: Gregory Holland, Shane Teggart, Mark Cahir, Thomas Fitszimons, Fionn McFall, Paul Donnelly, Stefan McGrattan, Eoin Watterson, Rory Sharvin, Owen Curran, Shea Savage. Subs: James Johnston for Shane Teggart, Ryan Crothers for Mark Cahir, Russell Swail for Paul Donnelly.