Caragh Cetlic FC 1 Naas United FC 9

A lovely morning in Caragh with blue skies all round awaited both sides at kick-off for today’s CR Wynne Feeds Senior Division game. Naas United were looking to get back to winning ways after recent defeats and they got off to the perfect start with a goal from Paddy Diamond, beating the offside trap to finish after just two minutes. Diamond was almost in again a minute later after a mistake by the Caragh keeper, but the defence managed to clear the ball for a corner. Caragh had their first chance on six minutes with a shot deflected for a corner which was subsequently cleared by left back Jamie Dunne. The resulting corner was picked up by the commanding Ronan Coady and he immediately released a long kick out to Niall Flaherty. His cross was beautifully volleyed by Diamond, but it flew over the bar. Naas continued to press and picked up a free kick outside the box. Diamond crossed, and Adam Colton came very close to putting Naas two up. Caragh responded with Brian Nolan testing the keeper with a long range shot and on ten minutes, they had a good chance after a lovely through ball from Danny Scully, but this was saved by Coady. Soon after, Eoin Giblin put captain Wayne Doyle through for a chance producing a fine save from Cassidy in the Caragh goal.

Naas were now very much in the ascendancy, with particularly good work coming down the left side from Dunne and Colton. They were two up on eighteen minutes after the ball broke to Flaherty after a mix up in the Caragh defence. He rounded the keeper and slotted home coolly for his first of the morning. Daniel O’Brien picked up a yellow for Caragh on twenty minutes as Naas continued to dominate forcing Caragh into errors. Stephen Riordan also picking up a booking on twenty two minutes. Naas were now playing some lovely football with Flaherty and Colton linking well with the midfield. On thirty one minutes, Naas scored their third with good build up play from Diamond resulting in a shot from Colton that could only be parried into the path of Flaherty who fired in his second. Colton then had a shot well saved by Cassidy before Diamond made it 4-0 for the visitors with his second after a lovely cross from Ver Nolan. A great run and pass from Colton a minute later set up another chance for Flaherty but his curling effort flew over the bar. Five minutes before the break Flaherty almost had his hat-trick, but Cassidy did well to close down his effort. The confidence was now flowing through the Naas side and Nolan tried his luck with a shot from over forty yards out after spotting the keeper off his line. Caragh finished the half fighting to get back in the game with three corners in succession and went close to scoring with a header just wide of the post. Naas were well up at half-time with Denny and Giblin solid in defence, good passing throughout and clever link-up play up front.

Caragh started the second half looking to get back into the game and started brightly with a shot from Gavin Hughes which was comfortable for Ronan Coady in the Naas goal. Eoin Giblin then had a lovely run out of the Naas defence and found Diamond on the wing, but he was unable to get into the box to latch on to a lovely ball from Diamond. Naas were five goals to the good three minutes after the restart. A hat-trick for Flaherty after lovely football in the build-up from Bobby Mazero and Nolan. Caragh pulled one back almost instantly as Scully found the net after Coady was unable to clear under pressure from the Caragh forwards. Shane Taffle was shown yellow after he brought down Colton. Mazero went for goal from the free kick but his shot was wide of the target. Diamond and Colton again combined to create a chance, but the Caragh keeper again did well. Scully then had a chance to score his second for Caragh, but Coady produced a great save to deny his header. Flaherty scored his fourth to make it 6-1 to Naas on fifty six minutes with a superb strike. Naas could have had a penalty in the build-up, but the referee allowed play to continue allowing Flaherty to find the net from inside the box.

Colton then made way for Dylan Coady to enter the fray. A corner from Caragh was then well collected in the air by Coady. Flaherty notched his fifth just after the hour mark, after sublime play from Dylan Coady in the build-up to make it 7-1. Flaherty was denied his sixth after a fine save from Cassidy on sixty four minutes. The cross from Diamond found Flaherty and his superb shot was instinctively blocked by Cassidy to prevent the goal. Caragh broke from defence and Richie French had a good chance that just eluded the goal. Good work from Doyle and Diamond in midfield lined up another chance for Nolan which was saved by the keeper. It was six for Flaherty on sixty six minutes and 8-1 to Naas. Caragh heads were down at this stage and Flaherty showed great skill to drift past the defence and slot the ball home with a cool finish. Nass emptied the bench at this point with players given a rest in the hot conditions. On seventy one minutes, Diamond completed his hat-trick and a ninth goal for Naas. Cassidy was unlucky not to keep out the chance having got his fingertips to the ball. The drive in Naas was clear from the beginning and it was epitomised with captain Doyle driving the players on, screaming at them not to get lazy fifteen minutes from full time! A minute later, Dylan Coady had a penalty claim dismissed by the referee as a fair challenge. Substitute Sam Doody had a good chance on seventy seven minutes, but Cassidy raced clear from his box and snubbed out the effort. Naas continued to have chances but were now happy to keep possession and play down the clock for the final minutes. Man of the Match for Naas was Niall Flaherty after netting a double hat-trick, with good performances from Diamond, Whelan and Nolan. Best for Caragh were Scully & Cassidy.

Monread 3 Rathangan AFC 0

In what was lovely evening for a game of football these two sides met looking for points. Monread needed to get back to winning ways and started the stronger going ahead through Ollie Dúnne after ten minutes  they pressed Rathangan repeatedly and gave them little time on the ball they were rewarded with their second goal after twenty minutes through Conor Coady a lovely right field passing movement which ended with Conor stroking home to lead the home side 2-0 up going into the break.

The second half started with the leaders in control but Rathangan pressed forward repeatedly. In the 65th minute Rathangan got a penalty after goalie Alex Dúnne was was judged to have fouled the no 9.Alex Dúnne saved. Monread scored their third with fifteen minutes remaining through Ollie Dúnne. 

Best for Monread were Mick Aherne, Alex Dunne, Keane Cully and Dave McGrath.

Ballycane Celtic FC 3 Kildare Town AFC 0

Ballycane started at a high tempo and were on top from early on but could not find the killer ball against a well marshalled Kildare backline with Colin Scanlon excelling. Indeed Kildare were very dangerous on the break through changes from Brandon O Keeffe, Andrew Sage and Conor Darby but likewise they could not threaten Keith Higgins in the Ballycane goal. The first half was brought to an end with neither team really creating any real goal threat. 0 0 halftime

The second half Ballycane were the hungrier and really stepped up their desire. After a great run by Stephen quinn on the right wing he put Christy Higgins in who took one touch and pulled the trigger but the Kildare keeper made a smart save to keep the scores level. In the sixty third minute Ballycane took the lead after a corner by Quinn was met by Dean Conroy to go 1 up. Ballycane’s second came four minutes later when substitute Robert Heavey scored with a header also from a Quinn corner  with his very first touch to make it 2-0 to the home side. With ten minutes remaining Kildare bore  down on the Ballycane goal and from twenty five yards had a shot that Keeper Higgins pulled out of air on route to top corner. An Unbelievable save had that had the crowd applauding and cheering. Ballycane scored a third with six minutes remaining when Leon Doyle beat two defenders and put Sean Farrell in to finish over the advancing keeper. Best for the winners were Keelan Noone, Dean Conroy, Liam Walsh and Christy Higgins who got refs man of match. Best for the visitors were Colin Scanlon, Buckley and Brian Tyrrell.

Castle Villa AFC 1 Clonmullion AFC 2

Clonmullion will be thrilled to have come away from Mullarney Park with the three points on Sunday afternoon after a thrilling game with a rejuvenated Castle Villa. 

Villa came into the game off a magnificent 5-3 win over reigning champions Monread FC in midweek and started this game with the intent of gaining another three points to again climb the table.

The visitors are flying high in the CR Wynne Feeds Senior Division after promotion last year, and they too had serious designs on the spoils in the Castledermot sunshine and Killian Deere in the Villa goal made a flying save to his right to deny them after fifteen minutes. 

Villa were dealt two heavy blows in the opening period when they lost both Jordan Harmon and Kevin Anthony to hamstring injuries before the half hour had lapsed, but their replacements, Aidan Murphy and Jamie Doyle were both more than capable replacements. 

Both managers had their proposed team talks rolled up and shoved back in their pockets immediately before half time when Murphy played in Graham Delaney, whose rich vein of form continued when he slotted home his third goal this week to put the home side one up. There wasn’t time to kick off before referee Alan Finn sounded the half time whistle. But all the talking points were to come in the second half in front of the largest crowd seen in Mullarney for some time. 

Villa’s Danny Thompson saw a vicious free kick somehow turned over the crossbar by Clonmullion keeper Michael Lawless, before both Thompson and Roy Byrne saw strong penalty claims turned away despite vociferous appeals from players and supporters alike. Clonmullion were pushing hard for an equaliser and keeper Deere again had to be at his best to preserve his team’s clean sheet when he made another excellent save at his near post to deny Cody Mulhall. 

Villa’s Roy Byrne was amazed not to have been awarded a penalty when he was tripped in the act of shooting after an hour before Clonmullion were awarded a spot kick of their own after a foul by James Byrne. There were no complaints about the decision and Mulhall made no mistake, stroking the ball low to the corner of the net to get his side back on level terms. 

Villa’s Delaney, who again was causing an opposing defence all sorts of problems linked up well with Byrne and Aidan Murphy’s ball across the goal was millimetres away from being converted by Thompson. 

Ten minutes from the end the deciding moment of the day came, unfortunately for the home side when the ever willing Harrison stopped a Villa attack and slipped the ball to Mulhall who beat three defenders along the 18 yard box before finishing right footed low past the excellent Deere to clinch the game for the Athy side. Best for Clonmullion were Boylan and David Neill at the back Harrison and Robinson in midfield and Mulhall up front. Villa were best served by Delaney, Thompson, Murphy and Deere.

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