Evergreen A 3
Lions A 1
IT MAY be a new season but it was the same old story for Evergreen A.
The Premier Division champions made a rip-roaring start to their title defence, taming the Lions on the Kells Road.
The loss of Joe Mulcahy could have hampered their scoring form but three goals, including two thunderbolts, provide ample ammunition to grab an opening day win.
Chasing a fourth successive league, the ’Green wasted little time hitting top gear. There were scarcely 90 seconds on the clock when Chris Whearty took down Mark Owens’ cross and delivered a stunning strike that rocketed into the top left corner - goalkeeper Paul Shortall was a spectator as the ball screamed past him.
Quick as that goal was, Evergreen nearly coughed up the lead almost as swiftly. Lee Campion went close to snatching a ninth minute equaliser when he picked off David Grincell’s stray pass on the left side of midfield and shot first time. The ball arrowed towards goal, beating Pierce Dargan, but the netminder was relieved to see it cannon back off the post.
The hosts calmed their nerves in style, doubling their lead in the 13th minute. Grincell and Ciaran Snype unlocked the Lions on the right, Grincell rounding Shortall before squeezing the ball home from the narrowest of angles.
Evergreen were rampant now - Vinny O’Brien almost increased their lead when he rattled the bar three minutes later - but couldn’t find a third goal to strengthen their grip on the game. The Lions used that to their advantage, grabbing a lifeline five minutes before the break when Steven Thomas raced on to Brian Holden’s short back-pass and tucked it past Dargan.
The Durrow men frightened Evergreen when they nearly levelled matters before half-time. Shane McCann went really close when he sped on to brother Cormac’s quick free and let fly, but his low shot flashed past the post.
Evergreen increased their efforts in the second half, pushing hard to cement their grip on the points. Grincell hit the post with a snapshot, while defender Mathew Wong sent his back-post header narrowly wide of the mark.
Those misses mattered little however, as Grincell wrapped up the spoils before the hour mark. There seemed to be little on when he picked up play out on the right but the striker conjured a goal out of nothing, unleashing a stunner which flew inside the far post.
Evergreen A: Pierce Dargan, Jack Poyntz, Vinny O’Brien, Mathew Wong, Brian Holden, Oisin Corr (Seamie Cummins, 82 mins), Ciaran Snype (Joe Keoghane, 70 mins), Robbie Quan, Mark Owens (Cian Morton, 65 mins), David Grincell, Chris Whearty.
Lions A: Paul Shortall, Matthew Wallace, Eoin Lalor, Lee Campion, Kevin Shortall, Cormac McCann, James Larkin, Shane McCann, Steven Thomas, Simon Randall (Danny Lennon, 70 mins), Kieran Freeman (Ger Alley, 82 mins).
Referee: Pat O’Connor.
Double for ’Green
IT WAS A good morning for the Kells Road club as Evergreen B also made a winning start to their Premier Division campaign.
Gary Maher’s side travelled to Rathdowney for a meeting with newly-promoted Clover United A. The trip to Laois was worthwhile, as Martin Dunphy and Conor Barry scored in the 2-0 win.
Freebooters A also continued their successful start to the season. Fresh from winning the Mock Lawlor Cup the Blues beat Bridge United A to make it a 100% weekend for the city’s top flight teams.
Dessie Hayes (2) and Damien Raggett were on the mark for Anthony Hanney’s side in their win on the Fair Green. Sean Barcoe scored for Bridge.