MID-ULSTER: Slane boss tips Dollingstown for the title after narrow defeat

Brendan Kingsmore (left) made a scoring return for Moneyslane. INBL1633-204PB
Brendan Kingsmore (left) made a scoring return for Moneyslane. INBL1633-204PB
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Moneyslane manager Dan Thornton has tipped Dollingstown for the Intermediate A title.

That’s after his side’s second-half comeback just fell short in their 3-2 defeat at Planters Park on Saturday.

Nathan McConnell netted the eventual winner for Dollingstown. Picture by Andrew Paton/Press Eye

Nathan McConnell netted the eventual winner for Dollingstown. Picture by Andrew Paton/Press Eye

“Today we faced the champions in my opinion,” he reflected after the full-time whistle. “They’re a very good side and have great strength in depth.

“We were very unlucky to go in three down at half-time but a change in system and tactics in the second half saw us dominate. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the equaliser our performance deserved.

“I was looking a reaction after last week’s disaster and we got it.”

An own goal, a Scott McCordick strike and the eventual winner from Nathan McConnell had put Dtown 3-0 up by the break.

Slane came back thanks to goals from the returning Brendan Kingsmore but those weren’t enough to stop Dollingstown going a point clear of Tandragee Rovers with three games in hand.

The hosts opened the scoring on 25 minutes when a dangerous cross from the left was headed into his own net by Slane centre half Larmour, who had to try and stop the cross at all costs.

Slane were very unlucky not to get back into the game as forward Kingsmore found himself one on one with Croft in the Dollingstown goal but the big keeper saved well.

Dollingstown doubled their lead ten minutes before the break after a fine flowing football move saw Scott McCordick slot home from 12 yards.

Again this set-back seemed to spur Slane on and again they were very unlucky not to get themselves on the score-sheet as this time Harron raced clear of the hosts’ rearguard but again Croft was quick off his line to make a second superb save.

Dollingstown added to their lead just before half-time when an unmarked man was allowed McConnell a free-header at the back post with Crawford unable to do anything but watch as the ball nestled in the bottom right corner.

A change in system and Withers coming on for the injured Abdelay saw a spirited second half performance. Within minutes of the restart, Moneyslane got on the scoresheet as Kingsmore made no mistake when he found himself one on one, coolly slotting past Croft.

Harron and Kernaghan were getting a lot of the ball in wide areas and Withers and Ferguson were working hard in midfield. It was Harron who was next to get himself in a goal0scoring position after good work from Ferguson saw Kingsmore cleverly step over the ball as Harron bust into the box but couldn’t keep his shot on target.

Larmour powered a header just over the top but Moneyslane kept on the pressure and from a Kernaghan cross Kingsmore rose highest to power home for 3-2.

Moneyslane kept penning the hosts deep in their own half but Kernaghan hit a volley wide and Kingsmore went through on goal but a heavy touch as he rounded the keeper put him wide of the goal and the covering defender blocked. The resulting corner was headed wide by Hainon.

The referee blew for full-time in what was a very good game of football with the hosts just holding on for all three points after a dominant second half performance from the Slane.