St Saviours 1; Carrick United 2
Reigning champions Carrick United have joined Waterford Crystal at the summit of the league table following this bruising encounter at Clonard Park on Sunday morning last.
The defeat for St Saviours means that they have now lost four games on the spin and as a result they are deeply rooted at the wrong end of the standings. Carrick fielded a full strength side for the first time this season and allowed themselves the luxury of bring on such players as Wayne Fitzgerald and Glen Keane during the second half.
In fairness to St Saviours and their manager Alfie Hale they had to plan without quite a number of their first-choice players due to injury and when they fell behind as early as the second minute they had a massive mountain to climb. With a little bit of luck they could have taken a point, but alas the experience of the champions told at the end.
Carrick got off to a flying start by scoring in the second minute. Bobby Landers turned quickly and laid the ball off to Thomas Fitzgerald who in turn picked out Anthony Power and he cracked the ball to the net from all of 30 yards.
Saviours keeper Graham Cleary did well to save an effort from Eoin Burke 6 minutes later. His side lost the services of Aaron O’Neill after 18 minutes when he was tackled hard by the Carrick left full-back Paul Coady.
O’Neill was replaced by Paul Gahan and the substitute whipped in a cracking cross from the right on 28 minutes and defender Alan Redmond was forced to head the ball away at the expense of a corner kick while under pressure from Joe Twomey.
Ten minutes later Graham Cleary had to be at his best to save a free kick taken by the Carrick midfielder Alan Ryan. In the dying seconds of the first half Joe Twomey ran on to a pass from Kevin Dolan but his curling shot from the right went narrowly wide of the back post.
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