Dungannon Tigers 3
Windmill Stars 0
Dungannon Tigers got 2013 off to a great start with a 3-0 win over high flying Newry side Windmill Stars to progress to the quarter finals of the Mid Ulster Shield.
Windmill Stars, featuring quite a few former Newry City players, travelled to Cookstown as hot favourites to progress having beaten Coalisland Atheltic the previous week. It was the Tigers who started the brightest, with the midfield of Burns, Donnelly, Martin and Toner linking well with the Dungannon front two of Somerville and McBride.
Good work from left back Cusack found Burns who played in Somerville down the left, who crossed ahead of the onrushing Toner at the back post, who failed to connect.
In a tight opening 20 minutes the Tigers restricted Windmill Stars to long range efforts due to excellent work from the Tigers defence of Stringer, Jarvis, S. Devlin, Cusack and the returning O’Donnell.
The deadlock was broken after excellent work from Somerville lead to a S. Devlin cross going into the box and after Burns’ shot was blocked Toner’s effort was handled on the line by a Stars defender and the penalty was given. Somehow the referee only produced a yellow card. Toner confidently dispatched the penalty kick.
The goal seemed to help the Tigers further in that they got the ball down and played some great football and this was rewarded when a Jarvis cross was headed home after a terrific leap from Burns. Just before halftime Stars were awarded a penalty and a magnificent save from O’Donnell kept the score 2-0 to the Tigers at half time.
The second half started as expected with Stars coming out strongly and putting the Tigers under significant pressure however the Tigers defence were in fine form and again restricted Stars to long range efforts and O’Donnell’s handling was superb.
The Tigers made full use of the squad with G. Devlin, Bleeks and Walsh on debut, making huge impacts in the second half.
Going into the last 10 minutes it was the Tigers who were creating the chances and Toner put through Burns who coolly put away his second and the Tigers third. Burns had a chance to get his hat-trick when Gareth Devlin played a great through ball but a top save from the Stars keeper denied him. Soon after the full time whistle went.
It was a match were all 14 players used played a vital role in a great win to start the new year with the Tigers in the latter stages of three cup competitions and with eight league games remaining.
This week sees the Tigers playing Silverwood in the quarter final of the Mid Ulster Shield. Circuit training continues on Monday night at 8.30pm in Donaghmore and 6.30pm Wednesday night in Castlecaulfield.