LEINSTER SENIOR LEAGUE….2 SCOTLAND AMATEURS…1
By NIALL FEERY
|Le The Harkness Trophy is back on Irish soil after the Leinster Senior League dismantled the travelling Scotland Amateurs with a confident performance at FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown on Saturday.|
Alan McGreal and Mick Daly did all the damage by netting the goals, but the hosts should have added a couple more in a dominant display as they lifted the Harkness Trophy for the second time in three seasons.
As usual when these two meet, the pace and tackles were intense in the early stages but despite the early energy neither goalkeeper were unduly worried.
Andy Noonan’s side was unsettled by a couple of injuries in the opening twenty minutes as both strikers, Shane Stritch and Niall Barnes, limped out of the action.
It took the home side a while to rediscover their rhythm as the game lost its way. When the game clicked back into gear, it was the LSL that got on top thanks to the two early subs, Daly and Gary Seery.
The pair combined along with Sean Byrne to cut open the Scottish defence and Seery’s dangerous cross picked out McGreal, who added the final touch from close range on the stroke of half time.
The Irish province dominated the second half. McGreal went close while Seery was denied by a brave block from substitute goalkeeper Grieg McGuinness when the Bluebell man would have been well backed to net. The second finally arrived with a dozen minutes left. McGreal was again involved, sweeping a the ball across the box to the unmarked Daly.
The St Mochta’s striker took a touch before arrowing a low drive across McGuinness and into the bottom corner. Seery then set up Luke Rossiter to add the third, but McGuinness produced yet another point-blank block to deny the LSL a record score.
There was some cause for worry in the LSL camp in injury time when Richie Lawson cracked home, but the home side cleverly played down the clock to claim the trophy.
LSL: Evan Whelan; Karl Russell, Ross Gaynor, Dean Laurence, Adam McCormack, Stephen Chambers, Aaron Robinson, Sean Byrne, Niall Barnes, Shane Stritch, Alan McGreal Subs; Gary Seery, Mick Daly, Luke Rossiter, Jeff Flood, Mick Quinn, Blair Mandiangu, Darren Craven
Scotland: Scott Urquhart; Tyler Fulton, Hamish Flett, Andy McGown, Gary McCullock, Dale Fulton, Niall McClure, Scott McGuire, Serge Makofo, Daniel Finnigan, Steven Currie. Subs: Mark Taylor, Richie Lawson, Mark Hansen, Stewart Nicol, Greig McGuinness.
Referee: Barry Fitzgerald.