Seaford Rock United 2-1 Rathmichael Shankill
LSL Sun Premier 1,
20 April 2010
Two days after a crucial away win at their nearest promotion rivals, Seaford came from behind to confirm their top-two finish.
The typically relentless end-of-season schedule had given Seaford little respite after a brilliant performance at Dublin Bus two days earlier. It would all have been in vain if Ronnie McLoughlin’s side failed to follow it up with another win over Rathmichael Shankill. Seaford had enjoyed the better of the matches against their local rivals from the other side of the Borough, and indeed had started the Premier 1 campaign with a win in Shanganagh Park in the August sunshine. But now the stakes were immeasurably higher.
RS had had a mediocre season, finishing mid-table in the division, but there was never much to choose between the two sides when they faced each other. And it seemed as if the pressure of the occasion had gotten to Seaford as they produced an insipid first-half display, falling behind from a set piece. The visiting keeper, a giant of man who had in fact scored directly from a clearance in the same fixture twelve months earlier, dominated his area, claiming countless crosses as Seaford laboured to find a way back into the match.
The breakthrough, when it came, was from an unlikely source. Neil Harrington had never scored for the club, but when Richie Grey headed a Barry Lyons corner downward into the six-yard box, it was the blond midfielder who managed to prod the ball over the line from close-range.
A point wasn’t going to be enough for Seaford, however, who poured forward in search of a winner. McLoughlin decided to introduce Dan Kiely form the bench. The towering forward had been the club’s top goalscorer during the previous campaign, but had endured a torrid season in 2009/10, and had been relegated to the bench after failing to score in 17 appearances. But, befitting one of the club's modern greats, he proved himself to be the man for the big occasion, racing onto a pinpoint through-ball from centre back Paul McPhillips to find the corner of the net, giving Seaford the three points and sealing promotion.