Whitehead Eagles Seconds 0
Dromore Amateurs Seconds 6
STRIKER Ned Walsh had a game to remember on Saturday against Whitehead Eagles Seconds.
The expert marksman shot down his opponents with a hail of goals – five of them to be exact.
In an incredible second half, the crafty centre forward bamboozled the home defence to pounce five times, with midfielder Marcel Beattie adding a sixth before the final whistle.
A week earlier, Dromore Amateurs Seconds had thumped Whitehead 5-1 at Ferris Park – so in this return fixture the Amateurs were delighted to maintain their fine form by scoring more goals, and also keeping their first clean sheet of the season.
And the victory lifted Ronnie McMurray’s side up to 11th in the league – the first time they have moved off the bottom spot since the start of the campaign.
But none of this looked remotely likely at half-time on Saturday when the scoreline was 0-0. Although Whitehead had failed to seriously trouble keeper Neil Beggs, Dromore’s overall play had been pretty shocking.
It had been a first half characterised by misplaced passes, mistimed tackles and miss-hit clearances.
But all that changed in the second period – and of course, then came a highly entertaining episode of ‘The Ned Walsh Show’.
He absolutely terrorised the Whitehead defence – they must still be having nightmares – with goals including a 20-yard free kick, an 18-yard shot, a penalty, a volley and a one-on-one with the keeper.
Basically the full repertoire from the striker’s handbook.
It was a joy to watch a master craftsman happy at his work!
The scoring finally finished when Beattie showed great strength to fend off numerous challenges before firing into an empty net after the Eagles keeper had gone walkabout.
Although full credit goes to Walsh for his goalscoring exploits, it must also be recorded that Dromore’s second-half display was a much-improved performance from everyone involved – more determined, better quality and stronger in the tackle compared to that frustrating first 45 minutes.
This Saturday, the Seconds face a sterner task at home to Portaferry Rovers. Kick-off at Ferris Park is 2pm.
TEAM: N Beggs, D McCauley, R McMurray, R Ward, A Begley, T Stewart, M Beattie, P Smith, Ogle, D Brownlee, N Walsh. Subs: C Lockhart, R Wells, Smart.
* Dromore Amateurs Firsts slipped to a 1-0 defeat at home to 18th Newtownabbey OB on Saturday.
Both sides were evenly matched and a scrappy goal on the hour mark was all that separated the two teams.
Dromore pushed for an equaliser but the visitors held on for victory in this bottom-of-the-league ‘six pointer’.
The Firsts take a break from competitive action this weekend with no scheduled fixture.