Armagh City 5 Dundela 2
A SUPERB hat-trick from Armagh City’s Stephen Murray set his side up with an impressive 5-2 Belfast Telegraph Championship One win over visitors Dundela.
The big striker was on target in the opening minute when a cross into the box by Shea McGerrigan was dispatched into the corner of the net past outstretched ‘keeper Johnny Sergeant.
City doubled their tally on five minutes when the rampant McGerrigan again got to the bye-line and fired in another dangerous cross which was collected by Philip Donnelly who found the back of the Dundela net with a low 15-yard shot.
After these early setbacks the Belfast side began to settle and, on 25 minutes, City ‘keeper Niall Geoghegan brilliantly saved a close-range effort from Carl McComb, while Michael Halliday headed the resultant corner just wide.
Then the Duns Kyle Owens had a header cleared off the City goal-line by the alert Donnelly.
These misses proved vital as Armagh then raced forward to notch their third score on 34 minutes.
A free-kick from Ultan Lennon found McGerrigan on the left and his cross into the box was met on the volley by Murray who had time and space to pick his spot from 10-yards out.
Then came one of the most spectacular goals ever seen at Holm Park!
Aided by the strong wind Lennon let fly with a free-kick from 65-yards which Sergeant could only parry onto the underside of the crossbar before the ball fell behind him into the back of the net! Just before the break Andrew Simms fired in a fierce shot for shell-shocked Dundela but Geoghegan did brilliantly once again to deflect the effort for a corner.
At the start of the second-half the visitors rang the changes in an effort to get back into the match.
And, within five minutes of the restart, they had reduced the arrears when Halliday flicked the ball home from close-range following a corner on the right.
Dundela kept up the pressure and were given further encouragement on 80 minutes when Scott Collins breezed past three Armagh defenders and found the net with a powerful shot from the edge of the 18-yard box.
This was a wake-up call for City and they suddenly came out of their shell once more and launched a number of attacks, noteable through the impressive McGerrigan on the left.
And, with five minutes remaining, the home side did round off a fine performance with their fifth score.
Donnelly broke into the Dundela box and crossed to Murray who tapped the ball into an empty net from just six yards out.