Corrib Rangers 3
Salthill Devon 1
Early days yet, but getting points on the board is already a concern, as was evident last Saturday when two sides eager to make amends for some poor early season form met at a blustery Westside. Rangers, pointless in the Western Hygiene Supplies Premier League up to this, welcomed a Devon side out of sorts and eager to put a run of wins together; however this wasn’t to be.
Rangers made the early running and were frustrated to be called offside on several occasions. Most of the play was taking place on Corrib Rangers’ left side, where Jason Smith and Daniel Small looked constantly dangerous. On the 10th minute Small combined with Mark Joyce and forced a corner. Poor Devon marking saw Smith left unmarked on the edge of the box but he saw a decent effort drift just wide.
Almost immediately Devon had their best chance of the half. A quickly taken throw found Theo McCoy unmarked on the edge of the box but he couldn’t direct his effort to the target. The Seasiders were at this stage finding the going tough and couldn’t put many moves together, although they weren’t helped by some tenacious tackling around the centre by Lawrence Forde and Kevin Fitzpatrick and a pitch that was cutting up quickly after the week’s rain. Rangers in contrast were happy to soak up pressure and attack on the break and they crafted a few excellent opportunities, which was not an easy task in wind which made proceedings difficult at best.
Real chances were few and far between and it looked as though the teams would go to the break level, until at the stroke of the half good work by Jason Smith saw him bend a dangerous ball in and Conor Cleary somehow got on the end of it to toe it under Devon keeper Mike Forde to send his team in one up.
If onlookers had to wait a full 45 minutes for a goal they had to wait just 45 seconds on the resumption as an Ollie Rafferty through ball set up Lawrence Forde, who expertly chipped the onrushing Mike Forde to double Rangers’ lead.
Devon had a chance to respond three minutes later when Ronan Larkin set up McCoy, but he saw his effort parried around the post by Rangers’ Ryan Griffin who pulled off a top class save. There were few chances for the next quarter although Devon did improve, but when Conor Cleary dispossessed Enda Cullen on the 64th minute and finished with ease the game was over as a contest. Devon threw on two more substitutes and to their credit kept trying to the very end, yet Rangers always looked dangerous. Devon did manage to find some consolation on the 88th minute when sub Chris Carroll found David Murphy in front of goal, he showed good composure and blasted past Griffin; the game was well won at this juncture however.
Corrib Rangers: Ryan Griffin, Martin O’Connor, Jason Smith, Sean Cleary, Shane Flaherty, Ollie Rafferty, Lawrence Forde, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Conor Cleary, Mark Joyce, Daniel Small. Subs: Warren Dodd (66 ), David Smith (82 ).
Salthill Devon: Mike Forde, Ronan Larkin, Brian Naughton, Enda Cullen , Paul Fitzpatrick, Mark Gavigan, Dave Meehan, Shane Cox, Theo McCoy, Dave Murphy, Mustafa Kassimi. Subs: Chris Carroll (HT ), Alan Belton (73 ), Keith Shaughnessy (78 ).
Referee: Patsy Forde