25 May 2015
Jonny Bonner gave the Ireland World University Games squad the perfect start to their series of fixtures in the build up to the July tournament with two splendid first half goals as they came out on top in a highly competitive game against the Northern Ireland East Region Amateurs at Armagh City FC.
Although the home side, who are themselves bound for the UEFA Regions Cup Finals in Dublin next month, responded well after the break and managed to half the deficit with a penalty on 70 minutes the Ireland side proved good enough to withstand the Northern pressure that followed and a Luke Kelly goal eight minutes later sealed an impressive victory.
Bonner's goals on 20 and 27 minutes were well taken efforts even if both got slight deflections on their way past goalkeeper Ryan McBride.
The first was a speculative effort from outside the box after Alan O'Sullivan had linked up with Bonner to engineer the chance.
While the IT Carlow winger fired home his second with a well struck free from close to the right flank after Conor McDonald had been fouled.
Kelly then helped put the Northern side back into the game when his ill judged tackle took down Stephen Murray in the box and the striker who has claimed 90 goals in his three seasons at the host club and is now on his way to Premier League Warrenpoint Town confidently beat Seamus Houghton from the penalty spot.
But Kelly redeemed himself eight minutes later with a smart finish past Paddy Flood from close in after Andy Mulligan saw his effort deflected into the DCU man's path by centre back Scott McMillen.
A thoroughly satisfactory performance from the WUG squad that must have pleased the management team of Danny Crowley and Paul O'Reilly.
NORTHERN IRELAND EAST REGION AMATEURS:Ryan McBride (Lisburn Distillery); Dale Montgomery (Armagh City), Scott McMillen (Shankill Utd), Andrew Doyle (Ballyclare FC), Kyle Buckley (Ballyclare Comrades); Joe Williams (PSNI FC), Eamon Kelly (Armagh City), Jordan Gibson (Dollingstown FC), Colm O'Reardon (Immaculata FC); Stephen Murray (Armagh City), Richard Thompson (Dollingstown FC).
Subs all used: Paddy Flood (Ballyclare Comrades), JB Dobbin (PSNI FC), Gareth Ringland (Dollingstown FC), Steven Brown (Crumlin FC), Joel Cooper (Ballyclare FC), Dara Noonan (Armagh City), Marcus Dallas (Loughgall FC).
IRELAND - WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES: Seamus Houghton (IT Carlow); Manny Kaguako (University of Bedfordshire), Dylan Mernagh (University of Limerick), Stephen Last (IT Carlow), Jake Corrigan (Maynooth University); Jonny Bonner (IT Carlow), Robbie Gaul (DCU), Conor O'Keeffe (IT Carlow), Alan McGreal (UCD); Conor McDonald (Dundalk IT); Alan O'Sullivan (DCU).
Subs all used: Reece McEnteer (Dundalk IT), Brian Nolan (University of Limerick), Luke Kelly (DCU), Eric Molloy (IT Carlow), Andy Mulligan (IT Carlow), Matt Connor (Waterford IT).
REFEREE: Mark Dillon (IFA). Assistants: Ryan Kelsey (IFA), Aaron Graham (IFA).