AFTER a fourth place finish in the AUL Premier C Senior league this year, finishing behind local rivals Mountview and FC Blanch who finished second and third respectively, Hartstown Huntstown bounced back in style to bag the Regency Hotel Cup last Friday night with a 3-1 win over Ballybough Celtic.
“It was a well deserved win,” said manager Gary Moore of the success. “The lads have all worked unbelievably hard – I think they started back in July for this season and it’s been 11 months of hard work.
“The whole squad have been excellent and you couldn’t single any of them out, they’ve all been fantastic. I’m just happy that they have something to take home for all the effort they’ve put in.”
The Town were the first to strike with an unstoppable Andy Carroll strike from a deadball 25 yards out from goal.
A solid connection with Carroll’s right foot allowed the ball to fly into the top right corner of the net, all before the Celtic keeper could even attempt to save the shot.
Before the interval, the Hartstown Park faithful were on the score sheet again as Sean O’Reilly capitalised on a failed clearance from a Celtic centre half.
O’Reilly managed to send a low strike past the keeper before he took the HHFC man down with a lunging challenge, nowhere near the ball, with the referee only brandishing a yellow.
Ballybough managed to get one back in the second half as their striker got one on one with Kyle Delvari and finished beautifully with a gentle lob that would be their highlight of the tie.
A true stalwart in the side since its establishment, Noel Bligh got the final goal with a bullet header from a perfectly weighted cross from Dan Hannon.
It gave a tangible reward for a solid season at the fledgling club. A solid league finish has led to rumours that the side could be one of four teams to be promoted from Premier C but Moore believes the side are going nowhere, thus ending one of the great rivalries in the Dublin 15 area with Mountview.
“As far as I know it’s just the three teams going up, so we’re preparing for another season in the Premier C. We actually did Mountview a favour in the end by beating FC Blanch, but that’s just how these things go.
“We lost three games in a row and that really finished it for us, but I’m confident that if we can keep all of our players we can definitely go up next year.
“There’s some tough sides coming up like Sheriff, Ballybough and Grange, and they should completely change the league on their arrival,” said Moore.