Magherafelt Sky Blues 4 Dunloy FC 4
In a game which the Blues dominated for long periods it took a hat trick from captain ‘Rossi’ Monaghan to secure a share of the spoils.
The Blues started in positive mood and won a free kick 20 yards out after two minutes. Bradley saw his effort bound for the top corner brilliantly saved by the Dunloy keeper.
From the resultant corner S O’Neill hit a pile driver which the keeper turned away. The Blues continued on the front foot and Monaghan saw his miss hit shot turned onto the bar by the keeper. Crozier in the Blues goal then saved well from a rare Dunloy attack.
In the 20th minute Dunloy took the lead against the run of play when the ball ricocheted off Bell as he made a tackle and flew past Crozier.
The Blues pressed for the remainder of the half but all their good play was undone by a poor final pass or decision.
The Blues got back on level terms ten minutes into the second half when Monaghan stroked the ball home from Hassan’s cross and two minutes later took the lead when Hassan played O’Neill through and he squared to Devlin who made no mistake.
The lead didn’t last long as Dunloy equalised two minutes later and then took the lead 5 minutes after that when the Blues failed to clear a corner.
The Blues equalised again five minutes later when D O’Neill headed a corner back across goal and Monaghan was on hand to fire home. On the hour disaster struck for the Blues, when Bell scored a second own goal.
Five minutes later Monaghan equalised again when he flicked a wonderful header into the top corner. From then to the end the Blues pressed and were unlucky not to win it when Monaghan’s header landed on top of the net, Kells’ header was well saved by the keeper and O’Neill’s header hit the side netting.
A game where the Blues were disappointed to only draw as their performance deserved more but credit to Dunloy who were always a threat. Ciaran Monaghan won the Blues man of the match award with a captain’s performance capped by his hat trick.
Sky Blues: Crozier, Stewart, McAlynn, Bell, Conor Monaghan, Bradley, Hassan, Ciaran Monaghan, S O’Neill, Devlin, Badger. Subs: Kells, D O’Neill, Quinn.