Slane win Battle of the Mournes

MONEYSLANE played a massive League game last weekend in the battle of the Mournes against Valley Rangers who have gone unbeaten in the league thus far.

That was until last Saturday when they met a Slane team full of confidence showed the newcomers how to play with flare and passion in front of a crowd of over 300 people.

Both teams were playing tight in the opening stages but Slane cracked the Mourne Granite in the fifth minute when Jonny Whitten found Gareth Bingham wide on the right. He cut inside from his marker with great improvisation and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net for the opening goal.

Slane were up for this game more than the visitors, first to the ball, playing with passion and creativeness and working well as a unit.

Slane doubled their lead on the twenty fifth minute when both Neil and Gareth Bingham combined and Whitten was found wide on the flank. He raced through and hammered into the roof of the net.

Mark Ervine and Jonny Adair were causing all sorts of problems up front running the Valley defence ragged and Adair broke through but his shot was charged down for a corner which was well cleared by the big centre back.

Slane’s rearguard of Neil Cochrane, David Boyd, John Davenport and Robbie Weir were well in control and Ryan Graham in the Slane nets had little to do in the first half

Valley came out on the attack at the start of the second half but found a resilient defence who were solid and the opposition reverted to shooting from distance.

Andy Moore and Gareth Bingham were controlling the middle of the park and the wide men, Neil Bingham and Jonny Whitten, were running riot up the flanks.

Ryan Graham pulled off a great save when a free kick was floated to the back post. He got down low to push the header around the post and David Boyd cleared the danger with a superb header.

Slane went 3-0 up on the hour with a show of genius from Jonny Adair. He picked the ball up 30 yards out and spotted the keeper of his line and he delightfully lobbed over the stranded keeper with power. It sailed into the net at the back stick for a wonder goal much to the delight of the large attendance of Slane supporters up the line.

Jason Gibson replaced Mark Ervine up front and he was soon in the thick of the action, almost immediately scoring when he broke through but the keeper saved well with his feet.

Kyle Scott and Mark Anderson both entered the fray and were giving the Valley defence a torrid time with their speed and agility up front.

With 10 minutes to go the game was over as a contest when Gareth Bingham scored his second of the game when he hammered into the bottom corner.

Slane continued to push the visitors back into their own half looking for the fifth but the keeper pulled of a couple of good saves.

Overall this was a pleasing performance for the manager, Neil McCullough, who was delighted with the result making Slane the only unbeaten team in the Intermediate ‘B’ division.

He gave man of the match to Gareth Bingham who hit a brace of goals and covered every blade of grass at Crystal Park on the day.

Team: R Graham, R Weir, D Boyd, N Cochrane, J Davenport, A Moore, N Bingham, J Whitten, M Ervine, G Bingham, J Gibson, J Adair, G Porter, K Scott, E Boyd.

- Moneyslane will play this weekend away against Sirocco Works in Round One of the Coca Cola Intermediate Cup with a 1.30pm kick off

There will be a bus laid on for players and supporters and the bus will leave tom Kelly’s, Rathfriland at 11am sharp via Moneyslane, Katesbridge and Banbridge

Anyone looking to book a seat should contact Michael O’Kane on 0786915144.