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Feature Game

KDFL Under 20 Division

Caragh Celtic FC 0 Newbridge United FC 3

Caragh Celtic welcomed unbeaten league leaders Newbridge United to Donore for their 2nd league meeting of the season on Saturday last. The visitors came away with all three points consolidating their top position, closing followed by Rathangan FC in second and Moone Celtic in third.

Caragh were enjoying some possession down the left flank but strong performances from United’s Ronan Brown and Dennis Kave gave them the platform to get on top. Five minutes in saw United have the first chance of the game, when a lung-busting run from United's midfield captain Cian Delaney forced a fine stop from Caragh's keeper Conor Cassidy, who tipped his fine long-range effort onto the bar.

This close call seemed to kickstart the Caragh boys into action, resulting in the game developing into a far more competitive affair with both teams now putting their opposing defences to the test. Clear chances were few and far between with both teams defending well in this 1st half.

Caragh did begin to get some joy down the left hand side though, with Ross Ward and Niall Cramer combining well and causing the Newbridge defence problems. After earning a few corners down this wing the home side nearly took the lead when a great corner delivery from Shane Malone was met by the head of Adam Carberry, but his effort cleared the bar.

The Caragh boys were to regret this missed opportunity as a few minutes later on the half hour mark Caragh conceded a soft corner from United when the effort found James Redmond at the far post. He nodded down to Dennis Kave to poach the opener to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Caragh nearly bounced back straight away with one of the best moves of the game from defence to attack. Niall Cramer received the ball in defence and combined with Daniel Hamill in midfield before releasing Ross Ward down the left. Ross put in a low cross to the near post that Jamie Cullen connected with – but Barry Lyons in the Newbridge goal was equal to it and got down quickly to scramble the ball out for a corner and maintain the lead for his team.

On the fortieth minute mark Newbridge were to extend their lead. Cian Delaney picked up the ball on the left wing and went on a surging run into the Caragh penalty area leaving defenders in his wake. Then just when it looked like he had overrun the ball he was clipped by a late tackle leaving the ref with no choice but to point to the spot. Ryan Kearney stepped up and made no mistake sending the Caragh keeper the wrong way.

Just before half time Caragh felt they should have had a penalty of their own but the decision didn’t go their way. Ross Ward worked his way to the by-line and popped in a teasing cross that looked like it was destined perfectly for the head of Adam Fleming – but a timely nudge from a Newbridge defender left the Caragh lads without the goal their play deserved. Half time and 2-0 to Newbridge.

The second half picked up where the first left off with no quarter been given by either team. Midfield was no place for the faint hearted with tackles flying in from both teams. Caragh needed to push forward more now to try and get a way back into the game, but fifteen minutes into the second half they were hit with a sucker punch that made it 3-0 to the Newbridge team.

A Newbridge free kick into the Caragh area looked like it had been comfortably dealt with, but as the Caragh lads tried to work the ball out from the back they turned over possession to Ryan Kearney on the edge of the box. Ryan didn’t need a second invitation and he finished impressively to the top corner of the home teams net to put United 3-0 ahead.

Caragh pressed for the remainder of the game but just couldn’t get the goal that their play deserved, while Newbridge were happy to shut up shop and head home with the 3 points.

A completely different game from the earlier season meeting between these two. Newbridge certainly knew they were in a game today and while they deserved the points the 3-0 scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of the game. Newbridge took the chances that came their way, while Caragh missed a number of good opportunities to make this a closer affair.

Best for Newbridge were Glen Bracken, Ryan Kearney, Ronan Brown and Cian Delaney. While Ross Ward, Niall Cramer & Shane Malone stood out for Caragh.

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