Bluebell United 1 Mount Merrion 3

Merrion on a HY' with win (Irish Daily Star)

The introduction of substitutes Alban Hysa and Austin Skelly inspired Mount Merrion to victory over nine-man Bluebell at Prestige Park.

Although Mount Merrion were worthy winners the outcome could have been different if Bluebell had not seen Paul Kenny and Andrew Cleary sent-off for dissent.

In a tense opening quarter chances were scarce but Bluebell took a seventeenth minute lead when Darragh Hollingsworth chipped in with a goal seconds after the host had been denied by the woodwork. In the build -up Bluebell's Andrew Cleary directed a Glen Keddy corner onto the post, before Damien dunne saw his follow-up charged down by Alan King. The ball eventually fell to Ger Banbrick who made a mazy run through the static Merrion defence before squaring the ball for Darragh Hollingsworth to score. Former crumlin striker Bambrick was a constant threat, and five minutes later Keddy played him clean through on goalbut the former shot straight Paddy Whelan.

With Keddy, Hollingsworth, Bambrick, and Andrew Cleary in inpressive form the opportunity was there for Bluebell to seal a second win of the season. However Merrion got themselfs back in the match as half-time approched seconds after Hollingsworth limped out of the fray Bluebell conceded the equaliser. Following a clever through ball from Michael McCann, Jamed Timmons sprung the offside trap to fire the ball beyond Mark Clohessy with Merrions first shot on target. From Bluebell's perspective the second half was pretty forgettable although their cause was not helped by the fact that Paul Connaughton also went off injured at the break. Liam Reilly was forced to re-shuffle his pack - The Cleary brothers paired up at centre back while Stewart Smith reverted to right full. However the defining moments of this match occurred in the space of four minutes midway through the half when dave Fitzsimons was forced to dismiss Andrew Cleary and Paul Kenny.

Predictably Merrion pushed for all three points and both teams opted for three players at the back which made for an opening, exting finale. However with two extra players on the pitch Merrion always looked the more likely to score and they edged in front when Hysa raced up the right and whipped the ball accross the face of the Bluebell goal. The homeside were left streched and Skelly had ample time to leap unmarked and power a header beyond the stranded Clohessy. Merrion sealed the points with eleven minutes left when Hysa turned from provider to scorer with probing run which he finished with a clinical lob over Clohessy.