CCFL Division 1
Temple Villa 2 Coolraine 1
Villa gained full points from their first home league game of the season despite going behind early on, two well-taken free-kicks in the second half securing the victory.
In the early stages there was nothing to choose between these two sides who finished first and second in division 2 last season and it had all the signs of a close encounter. With only 15 minutes gone the home team went behind when Coolraine scored with a great long range effort. The remainder of the first period continued with both sides doing well and creating chances, with Noel Galvin and Anthony Allen going closest for Villa, while Eddie Egan made a great save to keep Villa in touch going into the break.
The second half belonged to Villa as they showed the greater hunger and the driving play of Fergal Murray and Peter Smyth in the middle set up attack after attack which resulted in Villa winning numerous corners. The closest they came to scoring from one was when Fegal Murray headed just wide after 20 minutes. Five minutes later Villa got the goal their enterprising play deserved when Anthony Allen curled a beautiful free-kick round the wall and low to the corner of the net. It was very evident that the home team were not going to settle for the draw and 15 minutes from time, a ‘Noel Galvin special’ produced the winner, his 25 yard free-kick finding the top corner of the net.
This win takes Villa back into a challenging position in the league and they can thank a great second- half performance for the victory. Brian Mularney and Gary Flanagan looked assured at the back while Fergal Murray and Peter Smyth got through a lot of work in the midfield. Up front Gavin Byrne proved a constant threat to the Coolraine defence.
Villa: Eddie Egan, Michael Donohoe, Sean Kenny, Brian Mularney, Gary Flanagan, Damien Dolan, Fergal Murray, Peter Smyth (capt ), Anthony Allen, Gavin Byrne, Noel Galvin.
Reserves: Alan Robbins, Johnny Buckley, Brian Hickey, Joe McMahon, Rory Quinn.