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Feature Game – Leinster Leader

KDFL Senior Division

Rathangan AFC 0 Clonmullion AFC 2

Canal road Rathangan set the scene for this Clash of last years Senior League Play off Clubs Rathangan AFC and Conmullion AFC play in very warm conditions it was the visitors who showed the advantage early on when Danny Thompson came close after only a few minutes when Michael Lawless picked out Cody Mulhall who laid it off to Lee Doyle who’s first time cross was fired over by Danny Thompson. Lee Doyle was again the provider for the next attack by the Athy side when he received the ball from brother Nathan Doyle and whipped in a cross which Mulhall volleyed over from close range. The home side got a sight of goal on the quarter hour mark after great work by Arun Doyle put Alex Conlon through but Mark Hughes took the ball off his toe just as he lined up his shot. On twenty minutes some patient build up play by the visitors in the middle of the park saw Hughes hit a lovely diagonal pass to Thompson but he was again wasteful and hit his shot straight at keeper Craig Shannon.

Dominating possession in the middle Clonmullion’s Jody Dillon played a great ball out to Johnny Fennell who put Thompson through and he looked destined to score but for a superb last ditch tackle by centre half James Brennan to avert the danger.. Just before the half hour mark Clonmullion took the lead after Dillon and Thompson played a quick one two with the latter passing to Lee Doyle to side foot home to put Clonmullion 1-0 up.

Five minutes later the visitors should have doubled their lead when Mulhall whipped in a curling corner and Timmy Doyle should have hit the target. With a few minutes left in the first half substitute Dean Fennessy, on for the injured Fennell put Thompson in behind the defence and he squared to Mulhall who’s left footed effort was blocked by the other centre half Stefan Lawlor on this occasion. Rathangan had a great chance a minute form half time when Iain Doyle flicked a ball over the top but Doyle dragged his effort wide of the post.

The second half was only three minutes old when Rathangan keeper Shannon played a long ball over the top of the Clonmullion defence and the dangerous Doyle latched onto it and with only the keeper to beat pulled his effort just wide. Doyle was again the threat when he fired a well struck free kick from just outside the box but Lawless was equal to it. With ten minutes gone in the second half a Nathan Doyle throw in was volley on by Nathan Robinson to Mulhall who’s clever hooked pass over his shoulder was met by the head of Lee Doyle but he failed to generate the power needed to beat Shannon. Winger Doyle was again guilty of a missed opportunity when he failed to convert after intricate build up play involving Timmy Doyle, Mulhall and Dillon. However Lee Doyle turned provider a few minutes later when he crossed for Thompson who’s first effort was well blocked by Brennan but it rebounded into his path and he dinked the ball over a stranded Craig Shannon to make it 22 – 0 to the visitors.

Rathangan were not going to go down without a fight and had two great headed chances in the following few minutes with Brennan heading just over from a Dan Mulpeter corner and Iain Doyle again headed over from Conlon cross. Then came the move of the match when Nathan Doyle who was having an outstanding game at right full passed to Dillon who in turn found Mulhall who slid in Lee Doyle but Shannon saved well from his side footed effort. With fifteen minutes remaining the home side thought they had pulled one back when Lee Moore rose highest to power home another Mulpeter corner but the referee ruled it out for a foul on Timmy Doyle. Clonmullion controlled the final quarter by keeping the ball and moving the Rathangan players around and the introduction of Jay Connell for the injured Thompson ensured more solidity at the back.

Best for Rathangan were keeper Shannon, Brennan and Mulpeter in defence while the Arun and Iain Doyle, Conlon and Moore were always a threat going forward. Best for the winners were Timmy Doyle and Mark Hughes at the heart of the defence, Nathan Doyle at full back. Lee Day was excellent in midfield and when asked to play full back for the injured Fennell was equally impressive. Scorers Lee Doyle and Thompson worked their socks off while Mulhall and Dillon were always dangerous.

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