THE Swifts Reserves hosted Lurgan Thistle Reserves aiming to extend their unbeaten home record.
The home side started brilliantly, applying pressure on Lurgan from the first minute. The hard working duo of Gary O’Reilly and Ryan Hillen didn’t give the Lurgan defence a moments rest in the opening period. They were supported by a strong midfield that looked to carve out openings whenever possible.
Great battling from Daryl O’Reilly to win the ball allowed him to pass to Paul Hillen, whose sublime disguised pass found Maginn advancing into the area and the clinical strike gave Rathfriland the opening.
Moments later great work again in midfield sent Ryan Hillen through on goal, the striker keeping a cool head to neatly round the ‘keeper and roll into the net.
Rathfriland were flowing and the football on display was a pleasure to watch. It wasn’t long before the third was found, great approach play down the right sending the right winger free to cross superbly into Gary O’Reilly. His first touch killed the ball in a crowded area and his second touch had the top corner bulging and Rathfriland celebrating.
The second half started slower for Rathfriland, with the rear guard of Scott and Jackson standing firm to any attack poised by the visitors.
With a couple of changes Rathfriland soon rediscovered their attacking prowess. Great midfield interplay tore apart the Lurgan team and Hynes struck brilliantly from the edge of the box to end a brilliant move.
Ten minutes from time the home side made it five, again great play down the right hand side ended in a superb ball into Gary O’Reilly’s path, his finish was emphatic.
With ten goals scored and none conceded in the last two weeks the Swifts Reserves are in great form, but more pleasing are the brand of football being played and the spirit of the team. Bigger games are to come, but the team is looking up to the challenge.
Team: Derek Curran, Alex Scott, Connell Jackson, Liam McGivern, Conan Power, Paul Hillen, Daryl O’Reilly, Niall Maginn, Darrell Monaghan, Ryan Hillen, Gary O’Reilly. Subs: Andrew Scott, Stephen Parsons, Jordan Mark and Steven Hynes.