Stritch’s ferocious strike

by Gazette Reporter

BLUEBELL United stretched out their lead at the top of the LSL Sunday Senior division after winning a tough encounter away to Killester United 2-1.
The game started off lively with both sides having opportunities to take an early lead but falling just short.
Sean Byrne had the first chance as he broke through on goal only to be denied by a perfectly timed last-ditch tackle.
Killester hit back with a chance of their own but Terry McAuley could only look on in despair as he tried to connect with Alan Talbot’s back post cross.
The chance was the start of a period of dominance for the home side as they went close once more through Talbot with 12 minutes on the clock.
Seven minutes later and the game almost saw a goal of the season contender when Eoin Mooney attempted to chip Bluebell keeper Andy McNulty from the centre circle. The ball came back off the crossbar and towards Talbot, who couldn’t see his header past McNulty.
Shortly afterwards, the woodwork was again involved as John Brophy put his shot wide via the outside of the post.
The deadlock was finally broken on 30 minutes thanks to a sitter from Stephen Chambers. Mooney was the architect as he collected a long throw-in from McAuley before gifting Chambers with a chance he couldn’t miss.
He almost doubled his tally just a minute later when Bluebell carelessly lost the ball and allowed Chambers to get a strike on goal that McNulty had to be at his best to push away.
With the half drawing to a close, Bluebell almost got themselves on level terms but Keith Quinn’s attempt was cleared off the line.
The visitors came racing out of the blocks in the second half but almost fell two behind when Brophy was gifted with a sitter. The forward could only put the ball over the bar and his despair was made worse soon after when Bluebell equalised.
Shane Stritch found himself with possession inside the opposition box and instead of going for goal himself he unselfishly squared for Ryan Coombes to score on his first start for Bluebell.
With 20 minutes to go, Bluebell grabbed what proved to be the winner when the excellent Stritch controlled the ball on his chest before unleashing a ferocious volley into the top of the net from 25 yards out.
With St Mochta’s and Cherry Orchard not playing in the league over the weekend, the result meant that Bluebell took advantage to move an extra three points clear but with extra games player.

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