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Feature game

KDFL Under 20 Division

Newbridge United FC 1 Clane United FC 3

(Played at Doctors rd, Clane)

Saturday 4th of March was a big day for football in Kildare. The return of non competitive football for

the stars of the future, the junior competitive season reaching the final stages and the meeting of

league leaders Newbridge United and an inform Clane United team in the inaugural KDFL Under 20

league side saw fourteen games at Clane's United fabulous Doctor's Road facility bringing a real buzz

to the ground from early morning to late afternoon.

As a consequence of the large number of games scheduled across the county on Saturday,

Newbridge United found themselves in the unfortunate position of being unable to host the game on

Saturday due to games being scheduled at the same time at their Newbridge facility. In offering to

host the game at short notice, Clane and Newbridge United both demonstrated the kind of

cooperation that has underlined the progressive approach of all teams participating in the Under 20

season this year in ensuring that the innovative decision taken by the KDFL is a success. The large

crowd who stayed into the late afternoon were treated to a fabulous game between two sides playing

the game in the right manner.

Newbridge brought their unbeaten record into the fixture and were looking to put on hand on the

league trophy on Saturday but came up against a Clane United side on the back of a five game

winning run that had seen them rise the table since Christmas. On a brisk afternoon, both sides

started at 100 miles an hour in a game that exploded into life from the first whistle. Clane United

started slightly better with Ben Kirwan and Ross Murphy establishing an early dominance in the

middle of the park, snapping into tackles and putting the hosts on the front foot. Newbridge to their

credit defended manfully in the early stages as Clane probed with Cian McMahon and Dean

Comiskey continuing their fine form of late pulling defenders out of position creating space for Clane's

wide men Oliver McNamee and John Fitzsimons. The first real opportunity arrived in the tenth minute

when McMahon won the ball deep and forced the ball into Murphy whose shot from distance was

clawed away beautifully by the Newbridge keeper. McNamee was next to threaten the Newbridge

goal skipping past a tackle on the left before Newbridge's scramble defence closed him down inside

the penalty area. Newbridge withstood the early onslaught and began to impose their impressive

passing game. Clane’s rear guard were required to be at their best with Sean Sheridan and Fionn

Coyle holding the impressive Newbridge frontline at bay as the game ebbed and flowed. Great

entertainment all round. The opening goal came after thirty minutes and despite the quality on show it

came from a more direct fashion that belied the game at that point. A long ball from the Newbridge

keeper was left to bounce on the Clane eighteen year line and with the Clane defence static,

Newbridge's forwards combined to score into the right corner past the despairing dive of Adam Farrell

in the Clane goal. Despite this setback, Clane continued on the front foot and pressed forward with

great confidence as the half wore on. As the game entered injury time, McNamee won a corner on the

Clane left before swinging an exquisite ball to Comiskey going backwards eight yards out. His header

past the Newbridge Keeper was sublime and drew the half to an end with honours even.

The second half started as the first half ended with Clane on the front foot. On sixty minutes the

impressive McNamee won the ball inside his half and powered forward. His cut back arrived at

the feet of McMahon who deftly dispatched it to the left of the Newbridge keeper to give Clane

deserved 2-1 lead. Newbridge responded with the fight of champions, having their best period of the

game. Adam Farrell in the Clane goal stood tall during this period turning aside a couple of goal

bound shots with his feet before a scramble in the six yard box looked like producing an equaliser

until Farrell’s intervention. Clane management sprung the bench at this stage to freshen up things.

Clane took a foothold in the game again with subs Ethan Farrell and Aimon Amjal reinvigorating the

Clane attack well supported by Aidan Ralph and Eoin Geraghty on the flanks. As the game ebbed

towards a tight finish, Amjal had a decisive impact on the game. A ball from the right seemed to cause

little danger until Amjal put pressure on both defender and keeper. winning back the ball on the

penalty, Amjal showed great feet to create some space before a cool finish into the left hand corner.

This act seemed to deflate the Newbridge side and the game petered with Clane comfortable at the

final whistle. A fine game, a special mention to referee Michael Roycroft who played his part in a fine

game - his approach was first class and both sides benefited from his willingness to allow the game


Best for Clane were Dean Comiskey, Cian McMahon, Aidan Ralph and MOTM Ben Kirwan.

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