North End in total control
Kilmore out of their depth
In-form North End United took a decisive step towards retaining their league title when they dismantled the Kilmore United challenge with five clinical goals, taking all three points in the process in a one-sided Wexford Football League Premier Division game played at Hollygrove on Sunday.
North End United 5 - Kilmore United 2
Although the reigning champions showed many changes in personnel as they utilised their extended squad, the three points were never in doubt as they totally dominated this game.
With a number of games in hand they are warm favourites to retain their title with much to spare such has been their dominance of the domestic season, adding to their national and provincial cup exploits.
However, while Kilmore United are placed mid-table at the moment, they will be concerned at taking nothing from this game. The defeat will allow the pack, who have games in hand, to close in on them which could ultimately result in a relegation battle for the seasiders.
North End played fast, possession football, which saw them stretch the opposition at every opportunity. They controlled possession, and once they scored the opening goal the result was never in doubt, as they went on to add four further goals before the opposition managed to get on the scoresheet.
Kilmore opened brightly with Paul Murphy forcing a fine save out of reserve 'keeper Dylan Owens after just three minutes, but that was to be their best effort of the opening period as the home side, well marshalled by Gary Dempsey and Shane Dempsey in midfield, began to impose themselves on the game.
Their opening goal after six minutes was somewhat fortuitous. A long Dylan Owens kick saw a mix-up in communications between centre-back Gary Moore and advancing 'keeper Kevin Casey, with Moore's back header eluding the netminder to roll into an unguarded net.
North End were prospering from their midfield dominance, with visiting 'keeper Casey having a busy opening half, but there was little he could do about the second goal as Paul Murphy cut through the back four to send a low left-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, making it 2-0, and that was how it remained to the break as Kilmore seldom threatened up front.
Kilmore could have few complaints with the scoreline. They fell further behind within three minutes of the re-start following a good run and cross from Paul Murphy, leaving Jason Swords to apply the finish with a strong right-footed shot from twelve metres to make it 3-0.
Such was the gulf in standards that North End were always capable of prising open the visitors with free-flowing passing football, leading to their fourth goal three minutes later when Keith Kearney cut down the right and pulled over a superb cross that left Jason Murphy with a simple tap-in from a few metres.
That was 4-0, and it was only a matter of what the final scoreline would be at that stage.
The reigning titleholders were carving the visitors open at will, making it 5-0 after 63 minutes when Jason Swords finished a Jason Murphy cross with a superb shot from the edge of the area.
Kilmore simply couldn't live with their opponents who at this stage made a number of substitutions, while they also took their foot of the pedal as they were content to sit back and protect their lead.
As a result Kilmore built more attacks with Paul Murphy pulling a goal back on 77 minutes, while two minutes later Joe Colfer netted from a penalty, but it was only to give the final scoreline a better complexion, as the home side were vastly superior.
North End United: Dylan Owens, Lee Aust, Robin Dempsey, Stuart Lawlor, Deckie Downes, John Fenlon, Jason Swords, Shane Dempsey, Paul Murphy, Gary Dempsey, Keith Kearney. Subs. - Adam Beary, Jason Murphy, Andy Moore, Warren Broaders, Lee Wadding, Lee Smith.
Kilmore United: Kevin Casey, Darren Naughton, William Murphy, Jason Malone, Gary Moore, Nathan Bates, Dave Miller, Dave Moore, Paul Murphy, Joey Colfer, Graham Healy. Subs. - Peter Goldsmith, Conor Whelan, Mark Doyle, Aaron Goff, Seán Hogan.
Referee: Michael Comiskey.