Kildare Town AFC 1 Clonmullion AFC 3

League leaders Clonmullion were made to dig deep in this hotly contested game by a Brandon O Keefe led Kildare Town. The visitors started the better and some slick interplay between Timmy Doyle and Lee Foley saw the latter cross into Cody Mulhall who’s scissor kick flew just over the bar. Soon after Nathan Robinson put Foley in behind the home defence and he picked out Darren Harrison on the back post but he put his header just wide. Kildare went ahead on the tenth minute when Alan Ray cleared the ball to Ross Lyons who put a great ball over the advancing defence for O Keefe to run on to and he beat Michael Lawless low to the bottom corner. Fifteen minutes later Shane Foley passed to Mulhall who clipped the ball between Alan Ray and centre back partner Jay O Neill in to Robinson but he pulled his effort wide of John Barber’s goals. Ten minutes into the second half saw Barber pull off the save of the match when a Mulhall cross was headed firmly downwards by Doyle only for the keeper to dive full length to his right to scoop the ball out for a corner. Barber parried a Robinson shot ten minutes later and the ever dangerous Doyle headed the rebound off the post when it looked easier to score. Then came the turning point of the game when Mulhall was fouled inside the box by O Neill and he picked himself up to expertly slot the penalty home. Clonmullion were then let off the hook when the brilliant O Keefe beat the offside trap and with only Lawless to beat he side footed wide. With ten minutes left Lee Foley beat 2 defender’s to cross from the left and the ball evaded everyone and fell to Mulhall who’s cross was deftly flicked on by Robinson to Doyle to toe poke home. 2 minutes later the visitors made sure of all 3 points when Mulhall left 3 defender’s in his wake with a wonderful run down the right wing to tee up Robinson who’s volleyed effort found the top right corner. Best for Kildare Town were keeper John Barber, Alan Ray at the back and Andrew Sage up front while Brandon O Keefe was always a danger, Pat Connolly received their man of the match. Clonmullion were best served by Oisin Boylan and David O Neill at the back Lee Foley out wide and the creative trio of Timmy Doyle, Nathan Robinson and Cody Mulhall. 

Ballycane Celtic 0 Monread FC 1

On a blustery day in Ballycane both teams knew that a win was vital to keep themselves in league contention. Ballycane opted to play with the wind in the first half. The early exchanges were cagey but Ballycane started to get on top and Dean Conroy and Sean Farrell going close for the home side. Monread could have taken the lead when the ball fell to Coady in the box but a perfectly timed tackle from Kevin Higgins made sure the game was all square at half time.

Monread came out with the wind at their backs and started the second half on the front foot. Keith Higgins pulled off one of the saves of the season from an Ollie Dunne strike. Ballycane got to grips midway through the half and Dean Conroy was played through but he couldn’t react quick enough and the keeper smothered the ball. The cane had a super quick flowing move down the right and Farrell just couldn’t keep his header down. With twenty remaining Monread struck the winning blow. A quick counter attack caught Ballycane and Aram Vartanyan slotted past the keeper. Ballycane were on top for the remainder but could not find the net and it finished 1-0 to Monread.

Castle Villa AFC 1 Naas United FC 0

A first half Graham Delaney goal was all that separated these sides in Mullarney Park on Sunday afternoon and Naas could perhaps feel aggrieved that they didn’t get a point from the game. 

It was a game of few clear cut chances, with the teams very equally matched, and Naas were the first to test their hosts but keeper Killian Deere, who’s been in excellent form lately, intercepted what might have been a dangerous cross. 

Villa lost the unfortunate Paul Huntingdon to a knee injury after fifteen minutes, and the loss of his energetic style of play certainly hampered Villa in the minutes following until Joe Keatley stuck his stamp on the game with a performance for the final hour that belied his young years. 

The deciding point of the game came on the half hour when Graham Delaney collected the ball on the right corner of the Naas penalty area. Shielding the ball well initially, his cut inside brought him past two Naas defenders before he arrowed a thumping drive inside the Naas keepers right hand post. 

Within five minutes, a flicked header from Roy Byrne, who’s developed into a real leader for this Villa side, rebounded off the inside of the post and back into the grateful hands of the Naas keeper. Referee Billy Conlon blew for half time almost immediately afterward. 

Delaney, again causing an opposing defence all sort of problems, saw a drilled drive well saved by the visiting keeper before at the other end, a well flighted free kick swirled in the gusting wind and came back into play off the villa crossbar. Naas had a call for a penalty turned down with ten minutes remaining.Try as they might, Naas couldn’t create that one chance they so badly needed and the three points went to the Castledermot men, who were well served by MOTM Keatley, Graham Delaney, Roy Byrne and Aidan Murphy. Best for Naas were Eoin Giblin and Wayne Doyle.

KDFL Ben Moran League shield (Prelim)

Bush Celtic FC 0 Suncroft AFC 3

Suncroft made the short trip to Cut Bush this morning to take on division two side Bush Celtic.

Suncroft out of the blocks early with Brendan Curtis and Johnny Fennell linking up well down Suncroft’s right hand side. Fennell along with Kieran Morris guilty on a few early occasions missing goal scoring chances. These missed chances nearly came back to bite the Croft when on the 13th minute Kevin McDonnell had to make a top drawer save to keep the score  at   0-0. 

On the 15th minute the Croft went 1-0 up. Again it was Curtis linking up with Murt Brennan and JP McDonagh with the latter playing in Fennell and he beat his man with some ease to cut in onto his left foot and curled an unstoppable effort to the far corner of the net 1-0. 

Suncroft started to boss the game from here, five minutes later it was Shane Dillon and Morris attacking down the left, Dillon beating his man to the byline he whipped in a superb ball and McDonagh rattled the crossbar with a header the rebound fell to the feet of Morris but somehow he failed to put his chance away.

Poor finishing would really be the story of this game from here on out. With most of everything Suncroft done well would come from Curtis today his defending and his attacking from full back was relentless and he’s a nightmare for any winger. 

Just before half time Suncroft would get their second goal of the game. Again Curtis involved along with Ryan Dick and Dylan Connolly the Croft win a corner, whipped in by Connolly and only half cleared by the Bush defenders the ball fell to Murt Brennan from 20 yards and on the half volley Brennan found the back of the net 2-0. 

With the 2nd half under way and Suncroft in cruise control they just could not grab that third goal to kill off this Bush Celtic side. On the hour Suncroft made a double change Dillon out for Sheedy and Morris out for Flynn. This would inject new life into the Croft, and they came in droves time and time again at the home side. With good goalkeeping and some last ditch defending and also some poor finishing Suncroft should have been out of sight. 

McDonagh, Connolly and Flynn all had great opportunities to score but somehow there luck was out. 68th minute Tommy Nolan replaced Ryan Dick. Another attacker on the pitch now for the away side. Two minutes later the Croft would finally grab that goal and what a goal it was with no less than six players involved in the build up , Connolly , Sheedy , Fennell , Coleman, Flynn and McDonagh and the big center forward rolled in Murt Brennan for an outstanding finish to make it 3-0. 

Brennan had a half chance for his hat-trick just two minutes later but he blazed over from twenty yards. That would be Brennan’s last involvement today as he came off to be replaced by youth player Tyrone Delaney. What a signing Brennan is proving to be.  

The remainder of the game Suncroft playing two and three touches were moving the tired Bush side around. But to their credit the Bush never gave in and worked their socks off. 

Best today for Suncroft were skipper Coleman, Connelly, Dick, Fennell , Brennan and today’s man of the match Brendan Curtis who’s pictured below. 

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