A canter for Gary’s boys after an early scare

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It was a canter for Dollingstown in the Marshall Cup first round as they overcame Tullyvallen at Planters Park.

Manager Gary Duke used the game to rest some players while giving other squad members some vital game time.

The visitors did stun the home side minutes after the kick-off by taking the lead with a fine finish when the ball broke to their centre back following a free kick which Dollingstown failed to clear.

That was certainly a shock to the system but the home side set about restoring the balance and were soon back on level terms through a Neil Clydesdale goal.

However simple slackness which was a feature of the whole first half by Dollingstown allowed Tullyvallen to go in front again.

Once again the home side had to regroup and another Clydesdale strike made it 2-2.

Just before the half time whistle Dollingstown forged ahead for the first time when Dale Malone hit the back of the net.

Tullyvallen would have been more than happy just being a goal down at the break, but the second half saw them run out of steam as Dollingstown began to get into their stride and run up a healthy margin to progress.

Further goals from Duncan Stoddart, Neil King and Ritchie Thompson, who appeared as a late substitute after injury, and an own goal put the game beyond doubt but not before both Neil Clydesdale and Dale Malone both went on to complete hat-tricks in an emphatic 10-2 victory.

“I never thought for a minute we would not win the game but we started slowly and were punished twice as they took advantage of the chances presented,” said boss Gary Duke.

“Slowly we got into the game and had the lead at the break but in the second half we played much better and it was very comfortable in the end. The gulf between the teams began to show and to be fair they tired too, but we did the job and are through. We have another cup game on Saturday and once again it gives us the chance to rotate the team and give some players much needed game time.”

Dollingstown: Dale Wilton, Chris Mackle, Adam Walker, Mark Savage, Johnny McAdam, Neil King, Neil Clydesdale, Jim Girvin, Duncan Stoddart, Dale Malone, Jordan Gibson. Subs: Chris Fletcher, Andy King, Adam Moffett and Ritchie Thompson.

This week away to 18th Newtownabbey in Intermediate Cup.