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Selection headache for Aquinas manager Fay

By Staff Reporter
Aquinas 4 -- Blackieville 0

Belfast & District League

Having sealed their place in the Nelson Cup the seniors went into this game with Blackieville brimming with confidence.

Despite missing several first team regulars, the boys in blue and black wasted little time in establishing an early advantage.

After some fine exchanges down the left flank between Michael McCamley and Ruairi Taylor, it was fitting that the pair had a hand in the opening goal.

Seconds after Taylor went close with a fierce volley, having been found at the back post by Martin Ramsey, the former produced a corner kick that could only be cleared to McCamley. The left back made no mistake in steering his shot expertly into the back of the net. In truth, McCamley was unlucky not to grab a brace after his header was directed narrowly over the bar moments later.

Set plays were becoming a problem for the Blackieville defence and they were punished for some sloppy marking midway through the first half as Taylor provided again, this time for Martin Ramsey who netted with a bullet of a header.

The striker had his second before the interval, slotting coolly into the bottom corner after a decisive break. A 3-0 half time lead was nothing short of what Aquinas deserved.

Aquinas continued to dominate possession in the second period and played the type of free flowing football that stopped Blackieville from producing any real chance of note. Instead, stand in striker Tim Martin extended the Aquinas lead to four without reply after finishing from Matthew Galway’s inch perfect through ball for his first senior goal for Paul Fay’s side.

By this stage David Cummings and Darren Harbinson were running riot in midfield and opportunities for a fifth goal weren’t long in presenting themselves.

Ramsey was unfortunate to be denied a hat-trick, placing his shot wide of the mark after a passing move that stretched from front to back in devastating fashion.

The attack was engineered in defence by the work of Conor Geoghegan, and clever feet of midfielder Harbinson, who beat two men and unselfishly teed up Ramsey.

Substitute Paul Irvine went close to earning himself a penalty in the closing stages, managing to breeze past a number of tackles before going to ground. In the goal mouth scramble that followed Martin and Harbinson saw their efforts blocked by defending of the last ditch variety. Irvine showed more than a glimpse of his tricky quality, handing out an outrageous nutmeg that had his opponent staring at the turf in embarrassment.

If such creative skills caught the eye, so too did the defensive display across the back four. Geoghegan and Ciaran Devlin showed themselves to be a commanding central partnership.

Joe Porter and McCamley consistently provided their team with an outlet from which attacks could be mounted.

The clean sheet that matched a convincing goal tally was nothing less than the team deserved. Manager Paul Fay may now have a selection headache to add to his stag party headache, as competition for places in the starting 11 becomes stronger each week.


AQUINAS: Mark Salters, Joe Porter, Ciaran Devlin, Conor Geoghegan, Michael McCamley, Darren Harbinson, David Cummings, Matt Galway, Ruairi Taylor, Martin Ramsey, Tim Martin. Subs: Andy Magill, David Fitzpatrick, Paul Irvine.


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