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Feature game : Leinster Leader.

Karina Donnelly Senior Cup Quarter Final.

Naas United FC 1 Suncroft AFC 1

(Naas United FC win 3-1 on penalties AET)

Suncroft travelled to Naas for the KDFL Senior Cup Quarter Final tie with both teams coming into the

game on a decent run of form. The Home side began brightly with Samson Ometeso going on a

lovely run, he played a one two with Owen Moran before seeing his shot brilliantly blocked. Naas

didnt have to wait long to open the scoring though as Ver Nolan swung in a set piece in the fourth

minute, Suncroft only headed away as far as the edge of the box where Aaron Dunphy was perfectly

positioned as he struck a superb volley straight into the top corner of the goal giving the Croft

keeper Colin Farrell no chance. Two minutes later Naas captain John Paul Higgins headed just over

from another dangerous Nolan set piece. It was all the home side at this stage and another

opportunity went begging as Dane Higgins struck wide after a fine pass from Paul Ometeso.

Ometeso went close himself on fifteen minutes after a swift turn from Jamie Dunnes throw in saw

him strike just over the bar.The away side were struggling to make their passes connect in the

opening period of the game with the home side pressuring every touch and making life

uncomfortable for the Suncroft midfield. The 'Croft came close to equalising on the twenty minute

mark when Keith Kinsella's corner was met by the head of Josh Lee who saw his header crash back of

the post. Ben Kinsella was next to try his luck for Suncroft but saw his goal bound effort blocked by

Naas centre half JP Higgins. Suncroft applied pressure for the remainder of the half without creating

any clear cut opportunities while Naas always remained a threat on the counter with Dane Higgins

pace out wide and Paul Omoteso always dangerous on the ball.

The second half picked up in a similar fashion to how the first ended with Suncroft unable to find a

way through the Higgins marshalled Naas defence. Ben Kinsella had the first opportunity of the half,

with fifty five minutes played, when Dylan Connolly found him coming in from the right but he failed

to get an adequate connection on his effort. The Corft’s Kieran Sheedy looked like he had the

equaliser when he found himself unmarked from a Kinsella corner but his header was excellently

saved by Keith Higgins in the Naas goals. Higgins was well positioned to stop a Niall Costigan effort

from outside the box soon after as it began to look like Suncroft would never score. The visitors

finally found the equalising goal with ten minutes remaining when a dangerous Kieran Sheedy free-

kick was headed down by Liam Knight and Niall Flynn in the right place to apply the finishing touch

from close range to level matters. Neither team could find a winning goal in the remaining ten so

the game went to extra time. With two sets of tired players at this point, there was little

goalmouth action during extra time, the closest to a goal either side came was when Higgins

stretched to tip away a Dylan Connolly cross just as it looked like Eoin Doyle was about to head it

home. After 110 mins of football in rising temperatures the game went to the lottery of a penalty

shoot-out, which Naas ran out 5-4 winners. Suncroft will surely feel a little hard done by to come

away with nothing from the game but it's Naas who march on to the semis feeling confident they

can go all the way in the cup after getting through a tough tie here. 

The away side were served well on the day with strong performances from Connolly, Sheedy, Ryan

Farrell and Paddy Flood. With Naas Utd served best from penalty saving match winner Keith Higgins

in goals and the excellent Paul Omotesa in midfield.

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