Steel and Sons 3rd Round.
Ballynahinch Olympic 4 0 St Oliver Plunkett.
Report by Cyril McKinney.
Olympic welcomed St Oliver Plunkett to sunny Kilmore for the 3rd round of the Steel and Sons cup and were on the front foot from the first whistle.
In the early exchanges Ryan Molloy saw plenty of possession and hit a couple of dangerous diagonal cross field balls towards the speedy Nathan Jones on the opposite flank that caused panic in the visitors defence.
Indeed it was great work from Molloy down the left and as he crossed to Mason whose first time shot was parried by Murray in the St Oliver Plunkett nets, but that man Jones was on hand to finish it to the back of the net from close range on 19 minutes.
The visitors settled into the game and some great interchanges saw the impressive McCluskey find space on the Olympic left and as he got his shot away it was saved by Walsh in the home goal with his feet on 27 minutes.
As the half continued the Olympic defence conceded frees outside their box when the Plunkett forward McCorry was upended twice, but from the resulting free Hamill was high and wide both times. McCluskey wasted a great chance on 37 minutes as he volleyed wide at the back post from a deep right wing cross.
As the game approached half time Nathan Jones found space at the back post from a Molloy left wing cross but the angle was to acute and he fired into the side netting. In added time at the end of the first half the hard working Mason was upended outside the box and from the resulting free Jones saw his curling shot strike the crossbar with the keeper well beaten.
Into the second half and both sides appeared to cancel each other out until the introduction of Olympic’s Chris McNamara replacing McGoran up front on 53 minutes which gave the home side a fresh impetus.
Within a minute Stefan Mason had made it 2-0 to the home side by latching on to a loose ball from a McNamara flick on and thumping it to the back of the Plunkett’s net.
It was 3-0 on 57 minutes when McNamara intercepted the ball in the hesitant visitors defence and slotted home in fine style. The St Oliver Plunkett players heads dropped but they rallied somewhat and had a couple of half-chances – one from McCorry who shot over the bar from just inside the Olympic box and from Hanna who was wide with a long range shot. Both sides made changes, but the visitors could not find a way past the Olympic rear guard who grew in confidence as the game entered the final quarter.
The hard working Mason was enjoying some success down the right wing and after a gut-busting run and cross for McNamara to arrive on cue to slot home and make it 4-0 to the home side on 79 minutes. This was a solid performance from Olympic and they were good value for their win with Molloy, Jones and sub McNamara impressive.
Ballynahinch Olympic:Ryan Walsh, Dalton Tate, Ryan Noade, Jason Noade, Nathan Jones, Stephen Noade, James McClean, Aaron McClean, Stefan Mason, Steven McGoran, Ryan Molloy. Subs: Adam McLean for Ryan Molloy, Chris McNamara for Steven McGoran, Lee Ward for James McClean
St Oliver Plunkett: Ruairi Murray, Jack McKee, Liam McCloskey, Eugene Reid, Michael Healy, Martin Webb, Eoghan Hamill, Eamon Hanna, Aran McCorry, Ciaran Reid, Cormac Murtagh. Subs: Conall Duffy for Jack McKee, Gary Dunlop for Aran McCorry , Dylan Maguire for Liam McCloskey.