Impressive USL seal second spot with win over MSL   19/11/2017

The Ulster Senior League secured a second-placed finish at the FAI Intermediate Inter-League Tournament in Galway thanks to an impressive win over Munster at Mervue.

Ulster Senior League 3 Munster Senior League 1

By Chris McNulty, USL PRO, at Mervue

Tony McNamee, Conor Tourish and Oisin McMenamin netted as Anthony Gorman’s side secured the runners-up spot, behind the victors Leinster who won all three of their games.

It was a fine display by the USL men on the astroturf at Mervue United’s home.

They netted first on 25 minutes when the on-form McNamee curled in off the post past Cathal O’Hanlon.

The goal from the Fanad United attacker had the USL in front at the break, when they were thankful for the intervention of ‘keeper Gavin Cullen.

Twice in the first half, Cullen saved from Jack Cairns. The Ringmahon Rangers man found himself in on goal, but was denied by excellent stops by Cullen.

At the other end, Ronan Doherty drilled over the top while Pajo Rafferty was thwarted by strong hands from O’Hanlon.

As the close of the first half neared, USL captain Jimmy Bradley - who was excellent in the engine room - fired a low attempt just wide.

McMenamin had a big chance to double the advantage, but his first touch let him down and O’Hanlon gathered. 

Bradley stabbed into the hands of O’Hanlon, who had to be alert to save from McNamee before the USL found a way through for a second on 66 minutes.

Tourish got on the end of Doherty’s teasing delivery to head home. 

Moran could have made it three, but fired over the top and the Cockhill man was next to find O’Hanlon hard to beat as the busy UCC netminder made the save.

Three minutes from the end, McMenamin tucked home from Chris Flanagan’s ball across the danger zone.

There was still time for Brendan Cullen to volley home for a consolation, but the spadework had already been done by the USL side.

Ulster Senior League: Gavin Cullen; Conor Tourish, Peter Doherty, Sam Todd (Lee Toland 79); Jimmy Bradley, Michael Funston (Chris Flanagan 79); David Shovlin (Ryan Varma), Tony McNamee, Ronan Doherty, Mark Moran (Adrian Delap 75), Pajo Rafferty (Oisin McMenamin 54).

Munster Senior League: Cathal O’Hanlon; Mark Horgan, Ken Howey, Mady Cisse, Eoghan Lougheed (Dave Stack 56); Kelvin Kruschell (Simon Falvey 56), Andy Gannon, Danny Aherne (Vinnie O’Brien 56), Tijoni Albor; Brendan Cullen, Jack Cairns.

Referee: Marc Lynch