‘Baggy’ grabs a hat-trickas Courts shock champs

PREMIER Division champions Ardmore were second best in their opening league fixture of the season, on Saturday.

Lincoln Courts striker Mark Hamilton (right) showed his class by netting a hat-trick in their win over Premier Division champions Ardmore, at a rain soaked McCourts, on Saturday.

Lincoln Courts had Gary King and Mark Hamilton to thank for their 6-3 victory, as King in the middle of the field drove Courts on, while Hamilton’s clinical finishing ensured they got off to the perfect start.

As for Ardmore, who were missing a few players, they never got their game going and poor defending all round means it’s back to the drawing board for boss Damien McGee.

It was the home side who had the first chance after just two minutes but Mark McLaughlin fired over at the back post, after Pol Brown’s left wing centre had picked out the unmarked winger.

The lively Matty Smyth, who hassled the Ardmore defence all day, went close to scoring on 13 minutes, but his snap-shot from the edge of the box, curled just past Richard Stewart’s left hand post.

Courts did break the deadlock on 25 minutes when Ryan Holden’s left wing centre fizzed off the wet surface straight into Smyth’s path and this time he made no mistake side footing home from close range.

Moments later Smyth should have added a second when he won possession from Niall Murray, who was Ardmore’s last defender, but fortunately for the centre-back Stewart raced from his goal and blocked the striker’s attempted chip.

That miss came back to haunt the visitors as Ardmore levelled things on 30 minutes in outstanding fashion.

Right winger Mark McLaughlin found himself in the left hand side of the Courts box, his lay-off found Brown and the midfielder’s super strike from just inside the box, flew high into Moore’s top left hand corner.

Credit to Kolyn Patterson’s side that equaliser didn’t make them put their heads down and they raced back in front on 37 minutes after somewhat of a goalkeeping error by Stewart.

A needless corner was given away by the home side and Hamilton’s left wing delivery caught out Stewart and the rising King made no mistake heading into the unguarded net at the back post.

Ardmore levelled things again on 52 minutes Peter McLaughlin’s super run and cross down the right found Damien McGee Junior and he made no mistake heading home past a full stretched Moore.

on 56 minutes Courts skipper Stephen Mooney’s clever back heel found Hamilton who looked up and from fully 25 yards calmly chipped the back tracking Stewart.

Hamilton scored his second of the day just after the hour mark when he made no mistake from 12 yards volleying home after Ardmore failed to clear the lines properly.

Ardmore’s miserable day got worse on 68 minutes when Mooney broke clear and was brought down inside the box by Murray, referee Garvan Taggart rightfully pointed to the spot, from which King fired high into the net.

Hamilton completed his hat-trick on 72 minutes when he got away from the Ardmore defence, before rounding the out-rushing Stewart and drilling the ball into the empty net.

Five minutes later Ardmore scored a consolation goal when Peter McLaughlin gleefully side footed home from close range, after Sandy Gillespie’s initial shot was kept out by Moore.

Ardmore: Richard Stewart, Michael Feeney, Dan Doherty, Niall Murray, James Melly, Sandy Gillespie, Damien McGee, Peter McLaughlin, Seamus Brown, Mark McLaughlin, Pol Brown. Subs: Danny McIntyre, Joe McCallion, Eamon Gallagher, Gary Collett.

Lincoln Courts: Tyler Moore, Ryan Holden, Raymond Campbell, Peter Gibson, John Wray, Stephen Mooney, Kyle McIntosh, Gary King, Mark Hamilton, Matty Smyth, Dean Cooke. Subs: Alan Johnson, Darren Brown, David Downey.

Referee: Garvan Taggart.