Irvinestown W’derers 8
Irvinestown Wanderers secured the division two title in style, on Saturday, with an eight-goal rout at the Bawnacre.
Darren Higginbotham’s team has looked like champions in waiting for some time and on Saturday they put sacrificial ‘lambs’ Maguiresbridge to the slaughter.
Six different players were on the scoresheet, including 16-year-old Mattie McDermott who came on to net a brace, and 17-year-old Barry Goodwin, so the future looks bright as the club make an immediate return to the top flight.
“We are obviously delighted to achieve our goals this season and going up as champions is the cherry on top for us,” said Higginbotham.
“We said at the start that we would take it one game at a time and we really did that. We are aware of the progress we have made and also of where we want to be.
“I think we have reached the maximum we could this season and we have the Mulhern Cup still to look forward to and Beragh Swifts this weekend. They are a good division one side and will rightly be favourites, but it will give a good indication of where we are at.
“We had a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old scoring three goals between them on Saturday, another 17-year-old Shay Mulligan on the bench, so it bodes well for the future here.
“We are aware that footballers have a short career and we have to think of those coming through and it’s vital they get that experience too.”
Irvinestown dictated possession and territory throughout on Saturday, netting the opening goal just four minutes in as Ronan Ormsby flicked the ball around the corner to put Joey Millar in behind and he rolled the ball calmly into the corner.
The second goal came on 20 minutes as the Bridge gave the ball away on the halfway line and teenager Goodwin raced down the left wing before beating Phelim O’Connor with an early low shot from just inside the area.
Maguiresbridge guaranteed their safety last weekend and looked like a team who had already given up the ghost, but they stood firm for the rest of the half at least, as Irvinestown passed the ball around with ease.
Jordan Palmer’s break from left back created the third goal after half-time as he exchanged passes with Gary Maguire before picking out Caolan Ward in the box and he stroked the ball beautifully into the far corner first time with his left foot.
Ronan Ormsby made it 4-0 with a lob just over the head of O’Connor on the hour mark and Irvinestown then took the opportunity to ring the changes.
That was to make things much worse for the Bridge as the fresh legs told and the subs netted another four goals between them in the last 15 minutes.
McDermott got his first and Irvinestown’s fifth as he broke in from the left and his shot caught out O’Connor at the near post.
Minutes later Noble was played in over the top and he got there just before O’Connor to knock the ball on for McDermott to run onto and fire into the empty net.
Irvinestown were rampant and defender Dwayne Carleton created the next goal, flicking the ball inside near the edge of the box towards Noble who drilled it into the far corner on the bounce.
Right on the stroke of full-time, Noble hit his second of the game as a corner was only cleared out to the edge of the box and when it was knocked back in, the Wanderers sub was being played onside just six yards out and he acrobatically volleyed in their eighth goal.
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