LSL Sunday Major
Skerries Town FC -6
Manortown United FC – 2
By Joe O’Neill
It was goals galore in Skerries on Sunday for the opening fixture of the Leinster Senior League Sunday Major division. In an exciting, event-filled match, a Sean Lynch-inspired Skerries outfit defeated Manortown United largely thanks to a quick start which saw them race to a 4-0 lead within 30 minutes.
The match began at a frantic pace with Darragh Walsh, Sean Lynch, and James McIlwiane – who ran the midfield all game – going close for the seasiders inside the first ten minutes.
Skerries would break the deadlock soon after with Sean Lynch taking advantage of Manortown’s high defensive line to go one-on-one with ‘keeper Aaron Healy. The stopper would block Lynch’s initial attempt, but former Ireland under-16 international Walsh was in support to finish off the loose ball.
The Goats would double their lead three minutes later with Shane Langan heading a deep free kick across the six yard box to fellow winger Darren Lynch who scored with aplomb.
Almost immediately, Skerries made it 3-0 with Sean Lynch collecting a long throw in in the box before turning his marker and rifling a left foot shot past the keeper.
A shell-shocked Manortown attempted to regroup and the combative Jay Stanley began to assert himself in the middle of the park, while striker Ronan Hanaphy looked dangerous throughout
Skerries, however, made it four on the 28 minute mark when a half-cleared ball fell to Con Martin on the edge of the box who drove a low shot that bobbled into the bottom corner.
The response from Manortown was almost immediate, and Hanaphy brilliantly rose to flick in a deep cross past McGearty in the Skerries goal and get the Dublin 12 outfit off the mark.
The second half began in much the same vein as the first, with the ever-threating Langan testing Healy from distance with a low shot.
After ten minutes of the second half Skerries hit a fifth goal with Sean Lynch driving in a right foot rocket at the near post from an impossibly acute angle.
However Skerries had barely finished celebrating before Manortown winger Shane Mulvaney waltzed through the defence straight from tip-off to slot past McGearty and reduce the arrears.
Only a minute later disaster struck for the Manortown when goalscorer Mulvaney was given his marching orders by referee Glenn Rooney for dissent, reducing the Perrystown side to ten men.
To their credit, Manortown never gave up and began to grab a foothold in the game and Hanaphy would hit the underside of the bar with a long-range thunderbolt. Hanaphy again would have another opportunity when the ball sprang up to him inside the six yard box but he could not take advantage. Minutes later Dara Kileen would blaze a half-volley over when well-placed.
Perhap Skerries had became complacent after the red card, but they put the game to bed with ten minutes to go with Sean Lynch sealing his hat-trick with another powerful left-footed shot after a neat one-two with substitute Rob Armstrong in the box.
Langan then almost had the goal his performance richly deserved when he went one-on-one with Healy after a clever flick from Lynch. The Manortown number one pulled off a fabulous save and managed to scramble the ball away as it crept towards the net. While the facilities at Park Lane were impeccable, the venue is yet to install goal-line technology, and Langan was adamant that the ball crossed the line.
The game would then end on a somewhat sour note with Manortown’s Stanley being sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Dean Monks. In the ensuing handbags, Skerries’s Darren Lynch was also red carded.
Skerries will look to continue their good start on Tuesday against Phoenix FC. The comprehensive victory today will act as a statement of intent from Alan Sweeney’s team – who are targeting an immediate return to intermediate football,
Newly promoted Manortown will aim to get points on the board when they face Cabinteely.
Skerries Town FC: Colm McGearty, Colm Gill, Johnny Kennefick, Keith O’Callaghan (c), Alex Doyle, Con Martin, James McIlwaine, Darren Lynch, Shane Langan, Darragh Walsh, Sean Lynch. Subs: Rob Armstrong, Stephen Gaffney, Dean Monks
Goalscorers: Sean Lynch x3 (16, 55, 80), Darragh Walsh (11), Darren Lynch (14), Con Martin (28).
Manortown United FC: Aaron Healy, Ciaran Griffin, Gary Sham, Steven Moles, Aaron O’Reilly, Gerry Lee, Ian McCartney, Jay Stanley, Ronan Hanaphy, Dara Kileen, Shane Mulvaney. Subs: Graham Seely
Goalscorers: Ronan Hanaphy (31), Shane Mulvaney (56).
Referee: Glenn Rooney