Scoring not just one hat-trick but two, Scarva Rangers had a derby victory to savour, overcoming Gilford Crusaders 7-2.
Much of this match gave little hint that the final score line would so emphatically favour the visitors although three each for Stephen Hendron and William Morrison ensured it was a top notch score-line.
The encounter at sodden Woodlands was incident packed from start to finish. A Ryan Dodds shot was scrambled off the Gilford goal line in the opening minutes and the visitors had a lucky escape when a Crusaders player rounded Ritchie McGivern but his shot was stopped by the rain-soaked goal mouth.
The opening goal came from the penalty spot, Greg Douglas sending the keeper the wrong way with an assured shot into the bottom corner.
Greg Douglas turned creator for Scarva’s next goal minutes later with a beautifully flighted free kick which William Morrison steered unerringly into the net. It was a difficult shot to execute but he made it look easy.
The 2-0 half time lead flattered Scarva and early in the second half the hosts reduced the arrears to 2-1. Dean McCammon then struck the Gilford post with a ferocious shot.
William Morrison restored Scarva’s two goal cushion but Gilford’s response was swift, clinching their second goal of the afternoon shortly afterwards.
Dean McCammon embarked on a marauding run down the left flank and sent an inviting low cross fizzing across the penalty area and Stephen Hendron arrived at the perfect time to slam the ball into the net to make it 4-2.
It was a deflating blow for the hosts, who conceded a fifth shortly afterwards when Hendron rounded the keeper and stroked the ball into an empty net.
A low cross from Dean McCammon was headed into the net by Stephen Hendron to make it 6-2. Central midfielder Morrison then capped an impressive display when he fired home from the penalty spot for Scarva’s seventh of the afternoon after a push on Dean McCammon as he burst into the area.
Man of the Match is shared between the two hat-trick heroes but there were sterling performances from all 11 players. Ryan Dodds was exceptional at left back, David Morton made some vital challenges and player manager Mo Brown can be very proud of his significant contribution.
It was a good day all round for Scarva as their reserve team registered a 4-1 victory over Tullygally Reserves. Man of the Match was Gareth Dale.