FOOTBALL: WELDERS SHOW LITTLE MERC-Y; Grove United 0 H & W Welders 7 Early Grove for United
Byline: Andy MATCHETT
HARLAND and Wolff Welders reached the last eight of the Intermediate Cup with a 7-0 win over Grove United at their Shore Road home yesterday afternoon.
Welders took the lead in the 11th minute when a Keith Mercer through ball from the left put Gordon Hillis free on goal, and he made no mistake from 10 yards as he found the bottom corner of the net.
Grove United then went in search of an early equaliser and it nearly came on 22 minutes but the unmarked George Lunn could only find the wrong side of Michael Douherty's left-hand post.
From then on the match was totally dominated by the Welders as they showed why they are current Second Division league leaders with some neat football.
It took to the start of the second-half, though, for them to extend their lead as man-of-the-match Keith Mercer scored his first goal of the season.
A Michael Surgeon flick-on found the feet of Mercer and he blasted home the goal of the game from all of 20 yards, giving Grove keeper Gary Davison no chance.
Four minutes later it was 3-0 as a Tom Cleland cross from the right found Mercer free once again and he made no mistake this time from close-range for his second of the game.
Gordon Hillis then scored his second of the game on 53 minutes to put the Welders four in front as he shot home a cross from Mercer.
Many more chances came and went for the Welders as Surgeon, Cleland and Smith all shot wide and high when they could have done better.
But it wasn't long until the fifth goal came. Cleland made up for his earlier miss by firing home after great work on the left from Mercer put him one on one with the Grove keeper.
Mercer then got the hat-trick his performance on the day deserved as a Surgeon ball put him clear on the Grove goal and the former Dungannon Swifts striker found the bottom corner of the net to give Welders a 6-0 lead. …