AFTER nearly 20 years playing Fermanagh and Western football, Glebe United took their bow in the North West League with a thumping 8-1 win over Irish Street at Melvin on Saturday.
Purely for geographical reasons, Glebe took the decision at the end of last season to terminate their association with the Fermanagh and Western League. That was a major change of direction for the North Tyrone club but one that made perfect sense given their location.
On Saturday Ryan O’Kane’s team announced their arrival in Division Three of the North West League in style with an eye-catching victory.
Goals by Adrian Crossan, Mattie Campbell and recent signing Shay Duffy had the Glebe men firmly in control at the break and they duly rammed home their superiority in the second period with Crossan again on target before Adam McElwee, Barry Hegarty, Daryl McGrinder and Aaron McNamee completed the rout.
The pick of the goals was McGrinder’s. The striker ended up getting on the end of a sweeping attack to hammer a rising shot past the advancing Street goalkeeper.
As opening days go, it was a perfect way for United to announce their arrival and club stalwart Marcus Kirk is looking forward to the new challenges ahead.
“Having played Fermanagh and Western football for so long I think it will benefit us,” he said.
“In the Fermanagh and Western there was a hunger to win at all costs. There was little or no time or space on the ball. Teams would have been out to bully and batter you and at times you had to get rid of the ball.
“Early indications suggest the game is played at a slower pace in the North West and I think that might suit is in that we like to move the ball quickly.”
Saturday’s clash against the Derry side was played at Melvin instead of Glebe’s traditional pitch at Bellspark Road. Kirk believes the artificial surface at the Strabane venue might just suit his players better.
“It’s certainly quicker and at times we played some good football on it,” he added.