Belfast Telegraph

McComb on the scoresheet as Duns rock Loughgall

By Keith Bailie

Dundela started the season with a 4-0 win over Loughgall at Wilgar Park, with Dublin-based Carl McComb grabbing the last goal.

McComb, who hit a hat-trick in last season's Steel & Sons Cup final, was not expected to play in the Irish League this season but the former Glentoran striker has committed to Dundela.

Duns manager Mark Snodden explained: "Carl's placement is in Dublin and he will be living down there this year, but he has family and a girlfriend up here, so he will be travelling up every Friday evening.

"That means he will miss mid-week games and training, which obviously isn't ideal, but I'm not going to turn down a 30-goal-a-season striker, even if I do only get him on Saturdays.

"He's not quite up to full match fitness yet but when he came off the bench against Loughgall he looked sharp and got a goal. I think he's only going to get better."

McComb's strike followed efforts Jordan West, Nathan Jones and Michael Halliday. Jones was a key part of the Drumaness Mills squad that won both the Amateur League and the Clarence Cup last year. Snodden believes the 23-year-old could be the next Dundela player to take the Championship by storm, following in the footsteps of the likes of Matthew Burrows, William Faulkner and Kyle Cherry.

Snodden said: "It's a bit annoying because like any manager I want to hold onto my best players but at the same time, I'd never stand in anyone's way if they've got a chance of playing at the top level.

"When we lost our best players we are always on the look out for new faces and this year we've got Nathan Jones. Nathan won the Amateur League double last season with Drumaness and we've given him the chance to step up a level.

“He's a lad that just wants to play football and enjoy himself. He was excellent against Loughgall, and I'm aware that a couple of senior clubs are already looking at him, but we're pleased to have him at Wilgar.”

It was Jones who opened the scoring in the fifth minute on Saturday afternoon. He pounced upon the ball after West's 35-yard effort crashed off the crossbar.

Experienced forward Halliday opened his account for the season in the 50th minute, when he found the net via the inside of the upright.

West grabbed the third of the game five minutes later with a 25-yard effort, before McComb tapped home in the dying minutes of the game to complete a comprehensive win over highly-rated Loughgall.

Snodden said: “We've lost Daniel Burns, Owain Beggs and Kyle Cherry to three of the clubs people expect to be near the top of the table, so we've had to rebuild to an extent.

“But at the end of the day, Dundela are Dundela. We will keep working hard for each other and we will see where it gets us.

“We did extremely well against Loughgall and I was absolutely delighted with our performance. If I'm being honest, I was slightly worried going into the game as we had a very inexperienced midfield up against guys like Ryan Moffatt and Andy Smith, who have been there and done it.

“But we were fantastic and I don't think it's unfair to say we could have scored two or three more if it wasn't for their goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan, who was excellent.”

Dundela start their defence of the Steel & Sons Cup on Saturday when they host Rosario. 

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