Shamrocks FC kept themselves very much in the hunt for this season’s league title with this hard earned 3-1 win against Bay United at the Rock Road on Thursday night.
Stephen Fisher had two great chances to give the Hoops an early lead before a high dropping ball in the six-yard box caused consternation in the Bay defence allowing Aidan Sheehy to bundle the ball into the net with just five minutes played.
Frank Osadebe came close to equalising for Bay on several occasions before referee Robert Martin blew for half-time.
Six minutes into the second-half, man of the match Owen Armstrong, put Shamrocks 2-0 ahead with a well placed shot which beat Brian Halpin, hitting the inside of the upright before nestling into the net.
The introduction of Paul Minford gave Bay more of a bite in the midfield but the big central player was lucky to escape with a cynical foul on Armstrong midway through the half.
His influence told however as Bay gradually pressed Shamrocks back into their own half and John McGrane, with a low shot from 12-yards, hauled the home side back into the game with seven minutes remaining.
The strong skilful running of Osadebe was terrorising the Hoops back four and they resorted to a range of wild tackles to stop him that eventually led to his manager Brian Johnston calling him ashore to protect him from getting injured.
With the game in added time, a high ball into the Bay penalty area was completely misjudged by Brian Halpin and the keeper could only watch on as Armstrong ran past him, controlled the ball and then cued it over the line, snooker style with his head, to make it a flattering 3-1 victory for the Fatima side.
Both sets of players can feel very satisfied with the excellent match they provided for the big crowd at the Rock Road.
John McGrane, Jeffrey Ekwene and young Osadebe stood out for the home side while Owen Armstrong – now on 12 goals – Owen Traynor and Stephen Fisher impressed for the visitors.
Game off in Fatima
The game between Shamrocks and St Dominic’s, due to be played in Fatima last Thursday night, never got started as referee Brendan Gillespie deemed the pitch unsafe due to stone on the surface - the remnants of drainage work that was recently carried out.