Andrew Dempsey reports from Stradbrook Road
It was a night to remember at Stradbrook Road for Cabinteely who earned a comfortable two goal win over Bray Wanderers on Friday evening.
A brace from Keith Dalton set the hosts on their way – as both Kieran Marty Waters and Vilius Labutis also netted.
In the second half, Bray scored two consolation goals through new recruits Gary Shaw and Jack Watson.
Meeting for just the fifth time in both club’s senior League of Ireland history – Cabinteely entered this latest instalment of the East Coast Derby fresh from a historic 2019.
The Green and White’s from Dublin’s Southside secured a fairy-tale play-off finish last term, where they were eventually outwitted by Drogheda United.
On the other hand, it was Gary Cronin’s Seagulls who missed out on the play-offs at the expense of Cabo’s remarkable season.
And despite the wretched conditions for both players and supporters, a healthy attendance was present at Stradbrook in the opening East Coast Derby of the season.
After a slow burner of an opening quarter of an hour, it was the hosts who took the lead through Kieran Marty Waters.
Marty Waters netted his 32nd goal for Cabo with a low neat finish past Maher in the Seagulls goal as Pat Devlin’s side scored the first goal of the 2020 First Division campaign.
Jonny Carlin then went close in doubling the hosts lead, but his long-range sighter just went over the bar.
However, the hosts were not to be denied a second as midfielder Vilius Labutis scrambled home into the net – scoring past Saints loanee Maher.
And it got even worse for the visitors just seven minutes later, as Keith Dalton fired home his first of the game.
Ireland under-19 keeper Maher saved well from a Luke Clucas free-kick, but Dalton was on hand to tap home the rebound to give Cabo a dream start.
Bad, went to much, much worse for the Seagulls on the stroke of half-time as Dalton netted a goal of the season contender.
The former Oatlands College student picked up the ball on the edge of the area, before skipping past a Bray defender and then he arrowed a curling drive into the top corner of the net as Cabo took an unheralded four-goal lead into the break.
After a half where the majority of the action was influenced by Storm Ellen, it was the Seagulls who benefited from the change of ends.
On the hour mark, after a spell of sustained Bray pressure, Gary Shaw scored on his second debut for the club with a header at the back post.
And the Seagulls continued to threaten but more often than not, the conditions stifled much of their attacking play.
Bray boss Cronin attempted to add some impetus into the game with the introduction of former Cabo stalwart Jack Watson, which proved to be in vein.
Full back Barnett went close with just under ten minutes to play – but his free-kick sailed over the bar to all but end hopes of a Bray revival at the death.
All the visitors could muster up was a late consolation goal from a set-piece before one last shrill blast of referee Kevin O’Sullivan’s whistle brought an end to the game, as the hosts earned their first home win since September 2019.
Cabinteely: Michael Kelly; Eoin Massey, Jonny Carlin, Jack Hudson, Daniel Blackbyrne; Christian Lotefa, Vilius Labutis, Alex Aspil; Luke Clucas (Shane Barnes, 67), Kieran 'Marty' Waters, Keith Dalton (Dean Casey, 79).
Subs not used: Peter Quinlan, Zak O'Neill, Eoin McPhillips, Ciaran Grogan, Lloyd Buckley.
Booked: Keith Dalton, 79, TBC, TBC.
Sent off: None.
Bray Wanderers: Brian Maher; Dylan Barnett, Aaron Barry, Kilian Cantwell, John Ross Wilson; Ryan Graydon, Paul Keegan, Luka Lovic (Jack Watson, 69), Brandon McCann (Derek Daly, h/t); Joe Doyle, Gary Shaw.
Subs not used: Conor Behan, Adam Hayden, Lee Kavanagh, Tristan Noack Hofmann, Luke Nolan.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan.
Attendance: 700 (Estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Keith Dalton (Cabinteely).