LSL Senior Sunday
Sacred Heart- 1
by Jonny Stapleton
Striker Danny McGuinness is renowned for putting ball in the back of the net, but played a key creative role as Crumlin came from a goal down to get an expected three points on Kilinarden Hill last night.
It wasn’t quite the stuff of ‘Mr Assist’ Mezil Ozil, but the pint sized McGuiness served up some moments of brilliance, the first of which got the Crumlin juggernaut rolling.
Once level the unstoppable force that is the champions began to move up through the gears, eventually steam rolling the hosts to make it nine points and 12 goals in their last three games.
New Sacred Heart boss Bobby Byrne told The JSP that home form would prove vital if his side were maintain Intermediate top tier status- and he will be buoyed with what he seen in the opening 45 minutes of last nights Senior Sunday clash.
Heart’s frustrated a side the well wrapped Kilinarden Hill gate-keeper claimed were ‘well worth the €5 entry few’ in the opening period.
The hosts were organised and portrayed a real honesty of effort. Tayem Dinamumenaga and Paul Curry prevented the best midfield duo in the league James Lee and Martin Crammer from taking control of the game, while Karl Russell and Marc Kelly looked solid and creative down the right flank. Kelly was particularly impressive going forward. The youngster was more Johna Lomu than Gareth Bale in his wing play, using power than strength rather than trickery to cause problems.
The hosts good play was also rewarded with a goal. Midway through the half Curry took a neat pass from Russell, who has been restored to the right back berth since the change in management, turned neatly and was felled just inside the box. Talisman Paul Caffrey placed the ball on the spot, fired low to the left and drew a brilliant save from David Meehan. However, the ball rebounded back to the number 10 and he had time to volley through the net to make it 1-0.
A disgruntled Crumlin 11 did try and fight their way back into contention, but failed to create a glut of chances. Heart’s had their fair share of possession and looked solid without the ball. Indeed the only chance the shipped came from a free, when Ross Carrig pounced on a flick on only to find his shot blocked by new keeper John McGuinness at the back post.
Talk of a possible upset spread amongst the few, who opted for live football ahead the Ireland versus Germany in the pub, but whilst the Crumlin players looked frustrated at the turn their coaching staff was calming influence and exuded come back confident.
It wasn’t hard to see why within minutes of the restart. The Armagh Road outfit have quality and class all over the park with players with the ability to turn a game in a flash and that’s what McGuiness did on 48 minutes.
The striker tricked his way down the right and dug out a cross, which found its way to the feet of Ger Rowe. The number 10 let fly, but his effort hit the hand of Russell and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time in the game. Loughran stepped up and converted from 12 yards for the second successive game.
Instantly the atmosphere changed an air of inevitability transcended onto ground. The side favoured to finish on top of the LSL pile seemed destined to finish on top in this game played out on a ground looks down on the entire city.
James Lee finally began to find space and his beautiful deft touch sent Kevin Dempsey down the right and the substitute gave Rowe a tap in, crossing well with his first touch in the game.
Crumlin had turned the game on its head in a five minute spell and put the result beyond doubt just minutes later. McGuinness again the catalyst, the striker ran in behind taking John Woods with him. Once one on there was only going to be one of two results. The striker was either going through on goal or down to the turf and a foul meant the latter transpired and the referee was forced to award a third penalty.
Loughran, now playing right back again stepped and this time fired low to the keepers left to push the advantage to two.
All of a sudden Crumlin were full of attacking intent and when Lee’s first time pass sent McGuinness scampering down the right last week’s hat trick hero McGreal was the player to benefit. The winger arrived at the back post to tap home.
1-0 to -1-4 in 18 minutes, job done and time to take the foot of the gas.
Crumlin slowed the tempo in the latter stages and Heart’s did have a number of half chances via Sean Hughes and Derek Duggan, but a comeback would have been so miraculous if Heart’s managed to pull it off Kilinarden Hill would have become the new Lourdes.
Man of The Match: Danny McGuinness: The striker was full of unselfish running throughout and when his sided needed a moment of inspiration he delivered. Play a key part in three of the four goals too.
Sacred Heart: John McGuinness, Karl Russell, Brendan Connachtan, John Woods, Derek Duggan, Tayem Dinamumenaga, Marc Kelly, Alan Curry, David Byrne, Paul Caffrey, Anthony O’Rourke. Subs: Gareth Coughlan, Sean Byrne, Ian Lowry.
Crumlin United: David Meehan, Eric McGill, Carl Redmond, Derek Griffen, Ciaran Kenna, Martin Crammer, Daniel Loughran, James Lee, Daniel McGuinness, Ger Rowe, Alan McGreal. Subs: Ross Carrig, Kevin Dempsey, Greg Moorhouse.