Manorhamilton Rangers were comprehensively beaten by Leitrim rivals Carrick Town in the opening fixture of the Sligo/Leitrim Premier league.
Carrick Town started strongly and went ahead when a Jonathon Corrigan corner was met by a header from Stephen Sirle to put the visitors 1-0 inside four minutes.
An under-strength Manor struggled to fine any sort of rhythm as Carrick played a fine brand of free flowing football using the entire width of the pitch. Fitzpatrick and Diffley ruled the midfield area and attacked at will throughout the game.
Carrick dominated possession in the first half and should have been a number of goals ahead but for Stephen McPartland in the Manor net who was in outstanding form as he produced saves from point blank range first from Sirle and then from McEvoy and Mulvey.
Manor’s only real chance of the first half came when Hickey found Skimmin with a through ball. Skimmin beat one defender before unleashing a shot which just sailed over the Carrick crossbar.
Manor could have had a penalty on 15 minutes when Brady found Hewitt who ran into the Carrick penalty area. He appeared to be fouled by Moore but the referee waved away Manor’s appeals for a penalty.
Carrick should have gone two up when Mulvey beat two defenders and lobbed the ball over keeper but Jamie Maloney acrobatically cleared the ball off the line. Carrick did eventually go 2-0 ahead on the stroke of halftime when a Conor Hurd back-pass was intercepted by Mulvey who found the net from ten yards out.
Carrick started the second half strongly and continued to dominate the game with Manor being reduced to the odd counter attack. McPartland again kept Carrick at bay with some fine saves.
Joe Keaney starred with a solid display but even his heroics couldn’t stop Carrick Town who went 3-0 up when Diffley found Mulvey in space and he confidently shot to the Manor net.
Carrick went 4-0 ahead from a corner kick which was headed to the Manor net by Corrigan. Manor made a number of substitutions and this helped somewhat as Walsh and Carney started to cause problems for the Carrick defence.
With Manor chasing the game and sending players forward they were punished by a slick Carrick town team on the counter attack who increased their lead with goals from Micheal Corrigan and Jason McEvoy.
Manor did eventually score when the hard working Walsh raced on to a cross from Keaney and calmly lobbed the ball over the keeper for a 6-1 score-line. Almost from the kick off Carrick scored again when Manor were caught napping and Mulvey scored a fine goal from far out for 7-1.
Manor scored the final goal of the game when Thomas Carney found the net after beating three defenders for a fulltime score of 7-2.
On this performance Carrick Town look like they will challenge for honours while Manor will struggle in the Premier league until they get all their players back available for selection and playing.
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