BARMOUTH AND DYFFRYN 3 HOLYHEAD HOTSPUR 9
BUZZING Hotspur enter the Christmas period on cloud nine with a thumping victory at Barmouth and Dyffryn which sent out the clearest message yet to their rivals that they are serious title contenders, reports Gareth Davies.
The Harbourmen finished up 9-3 winners at Wern Mynach, coming from behind to lead 2-1 at the interval before putting the game out of sight with five goals in just 15 minutes at the start of the second half.
With Welsh Alliance League Division One leaders Holywell Town again having their game postponed, second-placed Hotspur moved to within four points of the Wellmen with three matches in hand.
The weekend battle with Barmouth kicked off in swirling wind and hail and chances fell at both ends, Ben Heald producing a good stop from Bermos Dean Irvine before Darren Andrews saved well from Dan McGinness and Holyhead defender Gareth Owen saw his header cleared off the line by Carwyn Jones.
In the 27th minute keeper Andrews made a hash of a clearance and Mel McGinness hit a lovely strike which unfortunately came back off the post.
On the half hour the hosts went ahead when Dan McGinness was adjudged to have handled following a long throw into the box and Craig Papirnyk netted from the spot.
Soon after Hotspur equalised when good work by Dion Donohue enabled Kenleigh Owen to progress and drive into the bottom corner.
Jay Gibbs went close for the visitors before Heald was forced to deny Shane Jones twice.
A minute before half time, however, a Mike Edwards shot struck a Barmouth hand in the area and from the resultant penalty Mel McGinness notched his 20th goal of the campaign.
Holyhead came out all guns blazing for the second half, Gibbs scoring with a diving header from a fine Dan McGinness delivery on 47 minutes.
In the 50th minute Dan McGinness earned a penalty for handball which he took himself. Andrews saved it, but following the ensuing scramble Dan McGinness eventually found the net.
Mel McGinness set up Gibbs to rifle in number five on 53 minutes and the sixth soon followed when Mel McGinness and Gibbs were involved before Donohue scored.
Holyhead were in seventh heaven when under pressure, Mel McGinness brilliantly wriggled away from two defenders in the box and slipped the ball past Andrews at his near stick.
Kenleigh Owen bagged number eight from a Gibbs assist before Andy Papirnyk reduced the arrears after being set up by Craig Papirnyk.
In-form Gibbs made it 9-2 when he completed his hat-trick from a well-placed free-kick awarded for a foul on Kenleigh Owen at the edge of the area.
Late on Iwan Lewis converted a consolation penalty for the hosts, thus ensuring a 12-goal frenzy which started with a Barmouth spot-kick also ended with one, but it was what happened in between that really mattered.