Armagh City 11 Dungannon Swifts Res 1
A DOUBLE hat-trick from flying forward Gareth Grimley blasted aside the challenge of Dungannon Swifts Reserves in the Bob Radcliffe Cup quarter-finals at Holm Park on Saturday.
He bagged a trio of scores in each half as Armagh City produced a devastating display of power and precision football to shoot down the County Tyrone opposition.
The local outfit opened their account after five minutes when September ‘Player-of-the-Month’, Eamon Kelly, slammed home from eight yards after superb approach play on the left from Kevin Keegan and Stephen Murray.
Grimley began his scoring spree on 10 minutes when he followed-up a back-pass to the ‘keeper and won the race for the ball, heading over dispairing stopper Dave Martin.
The young Swifts got briefly back into the match when a quick break caught City out of position and Jamie Glackin lobbed the ball over the onrusing Armagh ‘keeper Davie Rowney.
But order was restored before the break when Grimley twice broke into the six-yard box and slotted the ball home from close range dispite the best attentions of Martin who was left exposed throughout by a lack-lustre defence.
Armagh led comfortably 4-1 at the interval but they were far from fluent at this stage and had to re-organise on 40 minutes when centre-back Dara Noonan was taken off with a leg injury.
This led to the introduction of Shea McGerrigan after a one-match ban and, through his endeavours, the entire course of the match changed in the second period.
City were outstanding all over the park and almost immediately established a 5-1 lead when young defender Sean Mallon headed home powerfully direct from a corner on the left.
On 50 minutes McGerrigan’s low cross from the left found the ever-ready Grimley at the back-post and he cracked home his fourth, and City’s sixth score, with aplomb.
Five minutes later it was 7-1 when Murray slotted home from 10-yards after another ince-perfect cross from the left by the lightening McGerrigan.
Moments later it was 8-1 when Grimley snapped up another chance from a yard out after a shot from sub Ryan McGeown had struck an upright.
The goal-of-the-match arrived on 80 minutes when superb midfielder Matthew Hynds collected the ball 35-yards out and let fly with a thundering shot which flew into the top riight-hand corner of the net giving the hapless Martin no chance.
City reached double figures with five minutes remaining when the luckless Swifts’ scorer, Glackin, deflected the ball into his own net while trying to defend a corner.
On the stroke of full-time Grimley notched his double hat-trick with his best goal of the match. The ball bounced in the box and, from 10-yards, he blasted a brilliant scissor-kick into the roof of the net.
Overall, a sensational all-round team display from City, with Grimley taking the plaudits for his six-goal tally. But every player can take great credit for their contribution to the thrashing of the Swifts’ second-string outfit.
It will be back to Belfast Telegraph Championship Two action for Armagh this Saturday, October 5, when they travel to play Moyola at Mill Meadow, Castledawson, kick-off 3pm.
Armagh City: Dave Rowney, Philip McBirney, Ryan McGerrigan, Sean Mallon, Dara Noonan (Shea McGerrigan on 40), Eamon Kelly (Liam Cullen on 80), Gareth Grimley, Matthew Hynds, Stephen Murray, (Ryan McGeown, y/c, on 70), Philip Donnelly, Kevin Keegan. Sub DNP: Sean Morgan.
Dungannon Swifts Res: David Martin, Lorcan Mallon (Mark Rankin), Tommy Turley, Conal Crawford, Adam McMinn, Aaron Paterson (Niall Devlin, y/c), Kris Lowe, Shay Duffy (Patrick Molloy), Mark Megarry, James Glackin, Johnny Topley. Sub DNP: Jamie McGleenan.