Spectators certainly got their money's worth on Saturday when the first instalment of the Leven/Mersey derby took place at Valley Rd.
The first half shocked many, and Ulverstone headed to the changerooms leading 3-0. Ulverstone's first goal saw Iain Roberts-Thompson thunder a shot into the top left corner after being put through by Adam Conkie. The Red's second goal was another rocket, this time from the boot of Brayden Mann. The last goal of the half was scored by Kyle Baldock, who diverted a shot on goal with a little flick to wrong foot the Striker's keeper. Devonport strung together some quality play themselves in the first half but had trouble threatening the Ulverstone goal.
That all changed after half time, though as Devonport started to put pressure on Ulverstone more and more and eventually they earned a penalty that was coolly slotted by Daniel McGinn. The penalty looked dubious from my vantage point as I believed our defender won the ball, but I have been reliably informed by other Ulverstone spectators that it was a fair decision. The big turning point of the game was when McKenna subbed himself on. He played well when he came on but the rest of the team grew an extra leg when he came on and the pressure was relentless. the Strikers second goal came from a goal mouth scramble. Not sure who scored sorry. The equaliser was heart-wrenching for the Reds when Jason Singleton, under a ton of pressure, headed a cross into his own net.
Ulverstone threw away a 3 goal lead but it was hard to fault any player from either side throughout the whole day. It was just a really good spectacle of football. It is also worth commending the young players for both sides. Dev's two younger subs came on and lifted the intensity of an already intense game. Ulverstone's younger players also put their had up and looked like they fit in well at that standard. Signs that a State League side from this area would be more than competitive.