Mervue United 0
Oranmore leapt to their highest echelon since their return to the top grade after a second half cataclysm floored Mervue United in Oranmore yesterday.
The Premier League newcomers have now bounced into fourth spot on the table following the 3-0 result in a game where the humble standard was far outweighed by the importance of the overall result.
It sees the villagers jump straight over Mervue and into the top four and, while any assault on the league challengers would seem unlikely at this stage, it is not beyond the realm of possibilty to predict Oranmore will cause plenty of headaches for the top sides in the latter half of the season.
The signs were already showing in their recent win over early season favourites West United and yesterday’s effort, which took a while to evolve after a droll opening 45 minutes, will do wonders to instill confidence.
In fact there was little worth mentioning out of the entire opening half. Both sides handed one another more than their fair share of corners, none of which was taken advantage of, and there was no real grit or commitment coming from either team.
Oranmore’s front pairing of John Latchford and Tony Kelly had moments of enterprise which went unrewarded, while Mervue management would be kicking themselves after being handed corner after corner on a platter, but not making any use of them.
A 0-0 half-time scoreline was an inevitability, and there needed to be a dramatic lift in tempo from someone to force a result in the second half.
That lift came from the home side and glimpses were made just three minutes into the second half when Kelly’s shot ricocheted off the left post in the best chance either team had seen all game.
Kelly came close again just five minutes later, but failed to put away a loose ball which had escaped the clutches of Mervue ‘keeper Trevor Garvey, who had failed to cleanly handle a Dave Eignor long ball.
Trouble was brewing at the Mervue defensive end, though, and with 15 minutes gone the home side finally struck gold through newly arrived substitute Shane O’Neill.
Garvey had gone high to make a save on a long ball, but clashed in the air with a teammate and another Oranmore player, the ball falling to the feet of O’Neill who had no trouble in front of an open goal.
Oranmore have shown time and again this season, that the sniff of a lead is all the scent they need to turn a game completely in their favour and history repeated itself when they went another goal in front just five minutes later..
This time it was Kelly who scored, a simple deflection from a neat, short cross by Lonan O’Farrell who was about three metres outside the left post after a strong run down the left wing.
Six minutes later and the game was decided as Alan Barrett landed Oranmore’s third goal, a straight one-on-one with Garvey following a long ball into the box.
Mervue were a beaten side and they knew it, the holes opening up in their backline providing Oranmore with all the encouragement they needed to seal the win.
Conversely the home side’s backline shouldered arms well late in the game, preventing any real attacking intrusion, with centre halves Sean O’Brien and Ollie Neary deserving praise.
Oranmore: Conor Leydon, Dave Devlin, Brian Crowe, Sean O’Brien, Ollie Neary, Dave Eignor, Alan Barrett, Dave Sheehan, John Latchford (Shane O’Neill, 51 mins ), Tony Kelly (Mike Fahy, 74 mins ), Lonan O’Farrell (Andy Lavery, 80 mins ).
Mervue United: Trevor Garvey, Dermot Dooney (Paul Smith, 52 mins ), Mike Lundy, James McMahon, Robert Connolly, Aaron Finnerty, Eamon Feeney, Colie Kelly, Emlyn Coyne, Eddie Lenihan (Anthony Zokii, 60 mins ), Darren Smyth (Ray King, 79 mins ).
Referee: Pat Barry.