Greenwood 6 Springfield 1
STEPHEN DALY produced a virtuoso display as his hat-trick helped Greenwood to an emphatic 6-1 victory over Springfield in their opening Premier A clash of the season at Lehanaghmore.
And what a sensational start it nearly turned out to be when Daly’s sparkling effort from the kick-off had the Springers keeper leaping to his left to push out for a corner.
Daly was the provider minutes later when his threaded pass played in Craig Coughlan, but the Greenwood winger skewed his effort wide. Then, Daly’s delivery from a corner reached the head of David Yoannou, but the defender headed narrowly over.
Springfield had a chance after that, but from Connie Murphy’s free kick, David O’Sullivan failed to keep his header down.
A poor clearance from the Springer’s keeper presented Ian Manning with a chance, but he dragged his effort across goal.
But, it was Springer’s who took the initiative when a stray pass from Kidney came to O’Sullivan, who guided a lovely ball through for Andrew Hogan to steer accurately past the Greenwood netminder on 16.
Springer’s elation was short-lived as two minutes later; it was all square again when Daly’s free kick soared into the top corner.
A good chance for Greenwood followed when Manning’s low cross reached Coughlan, who failed to get his shot on target. And when Leon Keating fired a low cross in from the right, it had just too much on it for the in-running Hogan.
At the other end, Daly’s delivery from a corner found Mark Twomey who headed agonisingly over.
It was 2-1 on 29 minutes when Manning’s neat pass played in Daly to slot past a helpless Springfield keeper.
Four minutes later, Daly continued his top form when his effort from a free kick flashed into the bottom corner.
Springfield did have a chance to reduce the arrears when after McDonnell parried from Hogan, O’Sullivan showed admirable control to befuddle his marker, but dragged his effort wide after doing all the hard work, shortly before the break.
Manning introduced the second period by firing a crisp effort goalwards – forcing Adam O’Donovan to a smart save. When play shifted to the other end, Kevin Wilmott broke it up for Hogan who hooked over from outside the box.
A nice passage of Greenwood play followed with Daly finding Gareth O’Connor who picked out O’Riordan in a good position, but the midfielder fires disappointingly over.
Greenwood were having the upper hand now with Niall Harte finding Manning to slam a decent effort that came off a defender before going out for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, O’Connor rose highest to head home Greenwood’s fourth from Daly’s corner on 65. Greenwood extended their lead when Manning found himself in space before slipping it past O’Donovan to make it 5-1 on 83.
Greenwood were not done yet and when O’Connor latched on to a through ball, he demonstrated good control before picking out Sean Crowe who stabbed home on 80.
GREENWOOD: James McDonnell, David Yoannou, Eddie Mangan, Aaron Kidney, Mark Twomey, Niall Harte, Bernard O’Riordan, Stephen Daly, Ian Manning, Gareth O’Connor and Craig Coughlan.
Subs: Sean Crowe for Craig Coughlan (60), Cian O’Connor for Bernard O’Riordan (63), Dylan Murphy for Eddie Mangan (74), Darren Long for Ian Manning (75).
SPRINGFIELD: Adam O’Donovan, Leon Keating, Day Lynch, Jonah Walsh, Dean Keating, Stephen Bruton, Conor Corcoran, Connie Murphy, Kevin Wilmott, Andrew Hogan and David O’Sullivan.
Subs: Cian Van Wjnen for Connie Murphy (24), Malick Kanaze for Conor Corcoran (64), Alex Joy for Jonah Walsh (65, Jae Kinsella and Kyle Cummins for Kevin Wilmott and Andrew Hogan (72).
Referee: Jim O’Connor