Sheriff land first blow

by Gazette Reporter

SHERIFF YC ran out as victors in a match dubbed the ‘Clash of the Titans’ to claim the new season’s first piece of silverware on offer.
The FAI Junior Cup winners squared off against FAI Intermediate Cup winners Crumlin United and came out on top in a clash with their grade superiors.
The victory, and the emphatic nature in which it came, further strengthens the claims that Sheriff are one of the best junior sides of all time, and adds weight to suggestions they are indeed one of the best amateur sides at any grade in Ireland at present.
Sheriff seemed to have shrugged off the turmoil that surrounded the early part of their summer which saw manager Alan Reilly leave the club, only to return a week later.
The Inner City side, who won five trophies last season, now have one in the bank before the league has even kicked off.
This tie against one of the best, if not the best, Intermediate sides in Ireland was won thanks to a brilliant second half performance.
Darren Dunne opened the scoring and picked up the official man of the match gong, but veteran John Rock managed three assists and a goal in a four-goal second half spectacle.
The first half was a tight and tense affair that was shaded slightly by Sheriff but there was little in the way of chances early on with both defences on top.
Rock did have a chance after some good inter play from Stewy Glen and Philly Hand, but he fired over from six yards.
Alan McGreal came close to opening the scoring for Crumlin right on the stroke of half time as the LSL side made a better start to the second period.
However, after riding a five-minute storm after the turn around, Sheriff took the lead. A move down the right flank ended up with the ball at the feet of Rock, and when the Premier A’s top scorer laid it off for former junior international of the year Dunne, the ball was curled home effortlessly from 20 yards.
Crumlin attempted a response but found themselves further behind 13 minutes later. Again Rock was provider as he took the ball with his back to goal, turned and rolled in Stephen Murphy to finish from 13 yards.
The game was ended as a contest soon after when Rock cushioned another ball into the path of Sean Murphy, who riffled home brilliantly.
Crumlin pulled one back direct from a corner, but Rock restored the three goal cushion by pouncing on a mistake, and banking the goal his performance thoroughly deserved.

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