Alpine Oldchurch 4, Spartak 5.
Even the genesis of this fixture was unusual. The league gave short notice, then SDCC called pitches off for the week before changing their minds on Wednesday for this Thursday midweek fixture.
In any event the Sky Blues made a flying start, Jeff Gamble, sent away down the right by Dave Kernan,centred for steve Walsh to clip home. Kernan then conceded a foul from which the homesters equalised.
Spartak did not take long to re-establish supremacy, with Ger Byrne knocking in from Walsh’s free, before Neil McGowan finished a Byrne cross. 3-1 a the break, with Spartak’s midfield of McGowan, Mick Leslie and Niall Lennon well on top.
A dream start to the second period ensued when Jeff Gamble made it 4-1, taking advantage of a poor back pass, and then Dave Kernan tapping in at the back post following a knockdown.
With Niall Lennon and Niall Hanratty carrying knocks, substitutions were made early in the second period.
Whether it was the comfortable lead, or the forced changes, is not certain; but the Spartak team took their collective foot off the pedal, and as a result the home side scored twice in quick succession to reduce arrears.
A fourth goal left Spartak clinging precariously to what had been a comfortable lead and as the game became frantic and physical the referee seemed to lose control of proceedings.
at 5-4 wih 20 minutes remaining, the odds were on the home side procuring an equaliser, but the Sky Blues recovered enough of their composure to hold on, with Jason Northey missing from two yards after Mick Leslie’s free gave him the chance to settle matters.
Greg Byrne 6 Dave Kernan 6 Niall Hanratty 6 Paul Kinsella 6 Martin Costello 6 Mick Leslie 6 Neil McGowan 6 Jeff Gamble 8 Niall Lennon 8 Ger Byrne 6 Steve Walsh 6
Subs: Lee Malone 4 Dave Browne 5 Jason Northey 4