Current title holders, and winners for each of the past four seasons, Muirhevnamor FC sent out a message to the rest with a clinical taking apart of Shamrocks FC on the first night of the new season: we will not let go of our crown.
Last season’s top scorer Mickey O’Kane took just three minutes to pounce on a defensive error to send the reigning champions on their way.
The visitors then wasted some clear cut chances before man of the match Gary Clarke doubled the lead on 24 minutes.
From there, O’Kane added another within minutes as the struggling Hoops reeled under the pressure. Before the break, Michael Bergin and Sam Osobe added further strikes to send the home side in with a 5-0 lead.
Shamrocks regrouped in the second half and put up a much sterner resistance to the free-scoring home side. Noel McCoy made it 5-1 midway through the half and near the end, last season’s Player of the Year Owen Armstrong netted a second for the Fatima side to put a respectable look on the scoresheet.
Once again, Petesy McGinn’s charges have laid down their marker and it is hard so see them being dethroned on this evidence.
Tommy O’Hare’s side, with talents such as Gerard McSorley, Aidan Sheekey and Owen Armstrong, were expected to give their old enemey a much stiffer test on the day.
Shamrock Celtic OPEN WITH A WIN over dominic’s
Shamrock Celtic, previously known as Shamrock Youths, won this pulsating match in Fatima in front of a big home crowd by four goals to two.
Played on a perfect pitch, Celtic hit the front on 13 minutes through a goal from Robbie Mackin that got them going for the campaign.
Shane Derry, son of the Saints boss John Derry, drew the sides level five minutes later but the pendulum swung once more when Sean Thornton popped up midway through the half to restore the lead for the Hoops, a lead they managed to hold until the half time whistle.
Putting in a man of the match performance, Mackin then grabbed his second of the game early in the second half to extend Celtic’s lead even further and when a fourth goal was added courtesy of Anto McLaughlin, it cemented the three points for the Fatima men.
Kevin O’Hanlon got a late score for the Friary side and on this performance, Shamrock Celtic look like they could mount a challenge for the league title if they can maintain consistency going forward.