LOI First Division
Bray Wanderers 2
CABINTEELY sit top of the First Division table, at least on goal difference, following the first round of First Division games after a thumping 4-2 win over closest rivals Bray Wanderers.
Keith Dalton’s stunning strike on the stroke of half time was the pick of the goals as Pat Devlin’s side took a scarcely-believable 4-0 lead into the break in horrendous conditions at Stradbrook Park.
Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters’ opener, Vilius Labutis’ first home goal and Dalton’s first had given the home side a commanding lead before the winger thumped in his shot two minutes before half time.
The Seagulls did rally with the wind at their backs in the second half but goals from Gary Shaw and an injury-time strike from Jack Watson were mere consolations.
Veteran striker Waters, coming up against the club where he made his League of Ireland breakthrough, took the ball neatly on his chest and finished emphatically to open the scoring.
Labutis doubled the lead with a powerful low strike that wrongfooted Brian Maher in the Seagulls’ goal and squirmed under the keeper’s body.
Dalton added his first nine minutes before the break, scrambling home after Maher had saved Luke Clucas’ free kick, and added a fourth with a wonderful curling shot from the edge of the area.
Bray made a game of it after the break and Shaw scored with a header on his second debut for the club on the hour mark.
Watson, who joined the Seagulls from Cabo over the off-season, bundled home a loose ball from a set-piece in the dying moments but the home side ran out deserved winners on the night.
“It was a great game,” Labutis told the club’s media team.
“It was not the prettiest but hard work is all it was.
“I scored against Bray last season at the Carlisle Grounds so it was good to score again and, thankfully, I did.
“There was a little edge to the game, a few cards and a few injuries, and you could tell it was a big game.”
Waters added: “It was a good performance by the boys; we dug deep. We took our chances and we came away with the win.
“It was an amazing first 45. Bray came at us [in the second]. We knew they’d be gung-ho. A night like that will stay on in the memory.”
Waters spared a word of praise for the fans of his former team, who taunted him over his bleached blonde hairdo by comparing him to a pint of Guinness.
“The Bray fans are brilliant. Fair play to anybody who went out and stood in that weather and supported their team. They called me a pint of Guinness – I broke my b****x laughing!”