Douglas Hall 4 St Mary’s 0
DOUGLAS Hall’s 4-0 home win over St Mary’s boosted their challenge for the Beamish Stout Munster Senior League Junior Premier Division title. The game was played on the Moneygourney astroturf on Friday night.
Three goals from Conor O’Regan and a neat header from Alan Murray (who rivalled his striker for the man-of-the-match award) put pressure on the sides above Hall before the weekend’s action commenced.
It had been a mixed start to the season for Hall, though: They came into this game having won three and lost three. Douglas dominated this game for large periods and they started the on the front foot, with Mary’s lacking in confidence, having lost four of their five fixtures and being bottom of the standings.
The home side ought to have taken the lead after just three minutes, but after being picked out by a cleverly clipped cross from the right flank by Darragh Cambridge, front-man Conor O’Regan could only drive his half volley over the crossbar from a few yards out.
Alan Murray was also causing the Mary’s defence problems, with his pace and directness on the left-hand side, and he also went close to scoring early on, but following Murray’s sensational first touch inside the penalty area, right back Eric Goggin blocked his goal-bound effort.
But Hall and Murray wouldn’t be denied for too much longer. They finally got the opening goal that their performance merited, after quarter of an hour, when the number three expertly nodded O’Regan’s cross into the far bottom-left corner.
Mary’s almost snatched an incredible equaliser against the run of play midway through the first half, but Dylan O’Sullivan was desperately unlucky to see his half volley on the turn drop inches over the far top-left corner. Douglas weren’t fazed by that near-miss and they continued to control proceedings and to create chances.
Murray and Cambridge both forced Mary’s Sean Dennehy into making a great save, before midfielder James O’Callaghan beat the ’keeper in the 36th minute, but his thunderous strike crashed against the underside of the bar.
But the hosts would make it 2-0 moments before the half-time break, when Murray sent O’Regan through on goal and he calmly cut the ball onto his right foot and slotted it into the far bottom-right corner.
And the dynamic duo combined again at the beginning of the second period and it had the same outcome: Murray again set up O’Regan, who planted the pull-back just inside the near post.
The second half was tamer, as Hall controlled the game, although they would add a fourth with 19 minutes remaining, when the substitute, Cathal Dold, unselfishly squared for O’Regan to blast into the roof of the net for his third.
DOUGLAS HALL: Robert Osbourne, Cian Hurley, Alan Murray, Brian Hill, Ryan Mealy, Paul Barry, James O’Callaghan, Darragh Cambridge, Conor O’Regan, Sean Moynihan, David Malone.
Subs: Cathal Dold for Darragh Cambridge (52), Agape Malanda for James O’Callaghan (68), Tom Kelly for Alan Murray (72).
ST MARY’S: Sean Dennehy, Eric Goggin, Ryan Daly, Scott Duggan, Tiernan Daly, Dean O’Sullivan, Christopher Bowen, Colin McCarthy, Kyle O’Callaghan, Dylan O’Sullivan, Kieran Doyle.
Subs: Derek Feeney for Eric Goggin (54), Eoin Murphy for Ryan Daly (60), Craig Hourigan for Colin McCarthy (60), Jacob Hurley for Kyle O’Callaghan (72), Lee Duggan for Kieran Doyle (83).
Referee: Pat Buckley.