Dublin Bus drive over Sacred Heart

by Dave Donnelly

DUBLIN Bus remain in contention in an ultra-competitive Leinster Senior League Major Saturday Division thanks to a 4-0 home win over league leaders Sacred Heart.

The Neilstown-based side scored twice either side of half time to move ninth in the table and are now just seven points behind Sacred Heart at the summit.

Ryan Russell and Stephen Johnson set the Bus on their way with first-half strikes, before Brandon Giltrap and Sean Maher completed the rout following the break.

It was the Bus’s third victory on the bounce following a nightmare run of six successive defeats that had seen them sink near the bottom of the 11-team division.

Sacred Heart, by contrast, came into the game on foot of back-to-back wins over Wayside Celtic and Glebe North, but they came unstuck against a Dublin Bus side that’s finally starting to click.

Russell opened the scoring midway through the first half as his header bounced off a defender and sat up invitingly for him to finish in the corner.

Man of the match Johnson doubled the lead five minutes before the break, arriving late in the box to head Robbie Donoghue’s cross powerfully into the corner.

Sacred Heart pushed forward in the second half in a bid to force their way back in but were caught on the break as Giltrap was left with the task of rounding the goalkeeper to make it three.

Maher scored the fourth from the penalty spot after another quick counter saw Dylan Byrne fouled in the box.

“We dominated from start to finish,” Dublin Bus manager Richie Hall told GazetteSport.

“We had a number of other chances and had three cleared off the line. They had one or two chances and they hit the post, but that was the closest they came to scoring.

“We’re on a decent run now – that’s our fourth in a row. We’ve beaten Bluebell at home, we’ve beaten UCD, we beat Arklow Town at home in the Cup and now we’ve defeated Sacred Heart.

“We’ve only conceded three goals in those games and we’ve scored 16. A lot of the work we did earlier in the year, the guys are getting a lot fitter now and we’re moving the ball very well.”

With seven games to play, the Bus sit within touching distance of the top, however they face the tough task of becoming the first team to defeat Crumlin United on Saturday.

While Crumlin sit second-from-bottom, they’ve played half the number of games as most of their opponents and could quickly rise to first as they make them up.

“We’ve seven games to go now – three at home and four away. We’ve everything to play for to get back up the table.“

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