Seven up for Aquinas seniors

By Staff Reporter
Aquinas 7 -- Sparta Belfast 0

Aquinas produced a stunning 7-0 victory over Sparta Belfast to keep their title aspirations on track.

A devastating second half performance saw the men in blue and black score six before the referee’s final whistle put pay to the one sided fixture.

On a perfectly rolled Rathmore pitch, Aquinas’s footballers didn’t disappoint.

In the early stages of what began as a tightly contested game, Paul Fay’s men managed to register their first strike on target when Ben Leonard’s neat lay off gave Martin Ramsey the opportunity to take aim.

His well struck shot ended in the arms of the Sparta goalkeeper.

The shot stopper was again called into action soon after as Martin McNally looked to complete an impressive solo run with a goal. Deputising for injured play maker David Cummings, McNally showed his mettle in midfield and might have been rewarded with a score on another day.

However, it wasn’t long before in-form striker Leonard had his name on the score sheet. Ruairi Taylor made a trademark gallop down the left wing and picked out the big forward. Much like Taylor’s measured assist, the finish was masterfully composed, with Leonard lifting the ball over his marker before nodding it past the goalkeeper.

Dead balls from the left began to unsettle the Sparta defence as Taylor was given a series of chances to deliver dangerous crosses.

The most inviting of which, fell to Paddy Turley who was unfortunate not to direct his shot on target.

Shortly after the break Sparta were again unable to contain the Taylor/Turley set play routine. The centre half rose assuredly to thump a header off the crossbar and leave Ramsey in position to convert the rebound.

A third goal followed moments later as Ramsey hurried the Sparta left back into conceding possession, before bursting down the right flank and setting up Leonard for his second of the game.

The ease with which chances fell the way of Aquinas thereafter was impressive.

A collective work ethic both on and off the ball, paid dividends as the floodgates opened with Matt Galway and Joe Porter leading the charge.

Porter’s persistence gave Harbinson the freedom to go forward and the skilful winger proved his worth as he continued to cause the Sparta back four problems.

Ramsey notched up a hat-trick as he cheekily flicked his side’s fourth goal over the line and finished again from Andy Magill’s scissor kick.

Aquinas’ clean sheet will come as an added bonus with the possibility of goal difference coming into play in the race for the title.

Goalkeeper Paul Fay was largely untroubled thanks to a solid back four. While Turley’s aerial prowess has been duly noted, Geoghegan simply mopped up everything in front of him.

Rumours still abound that the sixth goal from left back general Ciaran Devlin was offside, but he wasn’t to complain after slotting home his first goal for the club, producing the biggest cheer on the day.

Magill rounded off the scoring with a deserved tap in.

 

AQUINAS: Paul Fay, Joe Porter, Paddy Turley, Conor Geoghegan, Ciaran Devlin, Darren Harbinson, Matt Galway, Martin McNally, Ruairi Taylor, Martin Ramsey, Ben Leonard. Subs: Tim Martin, Andrew Magill, Richard Murphy, Dee Fitzpatrick, Briersy.

 

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