KDFL Division 1
St Anthonys Youths FC 0 Clonmullion FC 2
Division 1 newcomers Clonmullion made the short trip to Kilcullen last Saturday evening to open their 2023 campaign to take on St Anthony's Youths. The home side had the first effort at goal when Kevin Kelly saw his direct free kick fly just over the bar after only three minutes following good work by Dean Conroy. The visitors were dominant in the middle of the park with Dom Redmond and Joe Brennan dictating the pace of play. It was this combination that led to Jack Brennan raiding down the right wing before passing to Stephen Donovan who's first time cross was just missed by Paul Lammon arriving at the back post. Donovan was again involved and he slid the ball through to skipper David Lawlor who pulled the ball back to Lammon but his shot was blocked down by centre half Tony Pearson. However the ball bounced perfectly into the path of the on rushing left back Stephen McDonnell who rifled an unstoppable shot to the bottom corner of Billy Cronin’s goals to make it 1nil with twenty five minutes gone. Saints pushed for an equaliser and Murty Scully picked out Dom Conroy with his back to goals but he still managed to hook the ball over his shoulder but it flew just over. Ten minutes before the end of the first half keeper Cronin launched a long ball down field which was missed by The Mull defence and Kelly ran on to it but keeper Jordan Hickey saved comfortably. The second half started with Redmond picking out Donovan again and he put Lammon through on goal but just as he was about to pull the trigger Niall Redmond made a last ditch tackle to avert the danger. On the hour mark Cronin again hit a long ball over the top of Clonmullion high line and Ross Dowling looked favourite to get on the ball but Hickey advanced quickly from his area to intercept expertly with his feet. With twenty five minutes remaining the visitors doubled the lead when centre half Shane Foley rose highest in a crowded area to head home a Redmond corner. Five minutes later Anto’s almost pulled one back when Dowling’s well flighted free kick picked out substitute Sean Hayes who headed powerfully back across goals but Hickey dived full length to tip over the bar. Try as they might the home side couldn't break down a resolute Clonmullion defence brilliantly marshalled by Shane Foley and ably assisted by exciting young talent Jack Brennan with Jordan Hickey assured in goals. Dom Redmond and Joe Brennan ran the midfield while Stephen Donovan and David Lawlor always looked dangerous up front. Best for St Anthony's were Lee Kavanagh, Tony Pearson, Ross Dowling and Aaron Ngai in the centre of midfield was their man of the match.