AARON Hawe showed all his experience as it was his strike which secured an opening day win for Magherafelt Sky Blues away to Clough.
Last Saturday saw the opening Ballymena and Provincial Intermediate League game of the season played out in glorious sunshine and Blues manager, seamus quinn, will be delighted with all three points.
Both sides put in a significant effort as the heat was a drain on players early season fitness levels. The first half ebbed and flowed with neither side having the quality upfront to make the build up play count.
The Blues certainly played extensively in the Clough half but struggled to have a cutting edge to make any dominance count. Clough should have taken the lead when a low cross was fumbled by Martin Farniouk, his only mistake in an otherwise faultless day, but the striker somehow missed the open net. The miss of the season on the opening day.
The Blues ended the first half with Thomas Beattie and Gregory Stewart testing the keeper with two well struck efforts.
The Blues dominated the chances in the second half and it looked very much likely they would regret their wastefulness. Ciaran Monaghanheaded into the keepers arms and then fired across the goal, Thomas Beattie fired wide, Stephen Hassan missed with the keeper to beat and Michael Devlin saw his fabulous run and shot brilliantly saved by the home keeper.
It took the experience of Aaron Hawe from midfield to score the only goal of the game. Hawe moments earlier had made the same run into the box but Beattie failed to find his teammate, minutes later the same combination resulted in the cross falling to Hawe who scored low into the corner.
The Blues dropped deeper and deeper as the game nearer an end and Clough began to force numerous corners. Fortunately for the Blues, Clough failed to capitalise on these opportunities and the Blues went home with all three points.
There was many encouraging things about this game for the Blues but equally manager, Quinn, will be hoping to improve on this performance with a home match against Newtowne next Saturday.
Special mention should go to Declan O’Neill, Adam Kells, Aaron Hawe,Stephen O’Neill and Michael Devlin who all put in excellent performances to help grind out this important opening day win.
The Sky Blues are at home this Saturday when they host Newtowne in the Ballymena Intermediate League. Kick off at Spires Park is 2pm.
The Sky Blues Lotto draw had no jackpot winner last Saturday. The lucky dip winner was Ivan Lynn who won £25. This weeks jackpot stands at £625.
The Sky Blues Mini Soccer centre continues this Saturday morning from 10am to 11am at Spires Park. Cost is £2 per child.
Magherafelt Sky Blues held their annual golf day at Ronan Valley last Saturday 30th July and it was a major success.
Twenty 4-ball teams (80 players) competed for both individual and the overall team prize. The club would like to thank the businesses which sponsored the 10 hole.
1. Tash’s Hair Perfection 2. Oakvale Lumber Company 3. Geraldine’s Hair Salon 4. Step Inn 5. Diamond Espresso 6. Homecare Plumbi ng Supplies 7. E. Lennox Wallpaper & Paints 8. AH Painting Contractor 9. Tommy O’Neill Tiling 10. Barbershop 11. Mighty Quinn Entertainments 12. Sean Kelly