An 18 minute hat trick from Sean O’Driscoll helped Maryborough ease past Abbeyleix and into the second round of the CCFL Division 4 Cup on Sunday.
It was Maryborough who started the quickest and were rewarded after nine minutes. A long throw from Donnacha O’Reilly was not dealt with by the Abbeyleix defence. The ever alert Sean O’Driscoll took advantage of the Abbeyleix indecision to and stole the ball before running in on goal and finishing well.
The second goal just seven minutes later, was a carbon copy of the first. Again a long throw by O’Reilly was not dealt with by the Abbeyleix defence and Michal Cala picked up the loose ball. He played a beautifully weighted pass for O’Driscoll to run onto and he scored with aplomb.
O’Driscoll completed his hat trick after just 27 minutes. The build up again was the same as the previous two goals. Another long throw from O’Reilly caused consternation in the Abbeyleix defence. O’Driscoll once more was the most alert player and he showed why he his on form and full of confidence when he hit the ball with a first time volley outside the box. The ball rocketed into the roof of the net to give O’Driscoll his fifth goal in two games and his 32nd goal of the season.
Five minutes later Maryborough had the game effectively sewn up. With the ball breaking 40 yards out from the Abbeyleix goal, it was Norby Zurek who went in and won the ball well. He managed to direct it to Dan Langan who noticed the Abbeyleix ‘keeper off the line. He lobbed him beautifully and left the defence and ‘keeper no chance.
From then until half time it was Abbeyleix who dominated the game. They had a number of chances that were missed or the dealt with by the Maryborough defence, most notably a goal line clearance from Bren Molloy.
The second half was poor in comparison to the first. The Maryborough players just seemed to take their foot off the pedal and were happy to rest on their four goal lead. It was Abbeyleix that looked the more likely to score but again it was poor finishing that was letting them down.
The second half didn’t come to life until 12 minutes before the end, following the dismissal of O’Reilly for an off the ball incident. Three minutes later Abbeyleix scored a deserved consolation goal. Maryborough failed to clear their lines and the Abbeyleix attacker picked up the ball and finished well.
Abbeyleix pushed for a second goal but Maryborough saw out the game. Although the scoreline would suggest that Maryborough dominated, in reality it was only the first 35 minutes that they were the better team. They relaxed in the second-half when they were certain of the victory. They were lucky, as if they had have been playing a more clinical team they may not have won by three goals.
Maryborough: Wayne Comerford, Donnacha O’Reilly, Philip Lewis, Chris Tandecki, Brendan Molloy, Loi Thanh Thai, Colm Phelan, Norbert Zurek, Dan Langan, Michal Cala, Sean O’Driscoll. Subs: Keith Bray for Adam Molloy (46mins), Nathan Da Silva for Loi Thanh Thai (56mins), Adam Mulhall fro Dan Langan (67mins), Peter O’Reilly for Colm Phelan (76mins)