Leinster Football Association Senior Cup (Round 1)
Clonmullion AFC 2 Oliver Bond Celtic (LSL) 3 (AET)
Clonmullion welcomed Leinster Senior League big guns Oliver Bond Celtic to Micheál O Neill Park for this first round tie of the Leinster FA Senior Cup. This cup competition is for LFA affiliated League Of Ireland clubs, Leinster Senior League Senior Divisional clubs and champions of Senior Divisions from the various LFA affiliated junior leagues. So as Senior Division champions of Kildare in 2021 .
Clonmullion FC took their place and didn’t look out of place against this lofty opposition. The early stages were understandably cagey and it wasn’t until the thirteenth minute that either goal was seriously threatened when Timmy Doyle played a crossfield ball to Cody Mulhall whose goal bound attempt was blocked by Ryan Ashe but the ball dropped into the path of Lee Doyle whose left footed effort flew just wide. From the kick out goalkeeper Adam Kenny punted a long ball down the pitch which seemed to fool everyone but Troy Carey stopped the ball from going out over the end line and pulled it back into Thomas Hannon who was just about to strike on goal when Nathan Doyle put in a last ditch tackle to deflect the ball out for a corner. On the twenty second minute Carey again looked dangerous as he raided down the left and whipped into the middle where Jimmy McHugh launched himself with a diving header which flew just wide. Five minutes later Bond’s Brandon Daly intercepted a pass as the home side tried to play out from the back and his pass picked out Michael Malone who fired straight at Michael Lawless. On the half hour mark a quick Timmy Doyle free kick to Johnathan Fennell saw the left full pass to Lee Doyle who beat two defenders and played a one two with Mulhall and seen his shot brilliantly saved by keeper Kenny. From the resulting corner by Nathan Robinson Dean O Sullivan Owens rose highest but again Kenny was equal to the header. Ten minutes before the half time whistle Bond centre half Ashe drilled a pass to McHugh whose deft flick found Hannon and his shot brought the best out of Lawless. A few minutes later Ashe was again the provider as he put McHugh in one on one with Lawless and the keeper dived bravely at the strikers feet he seemed to follow through with his two feet and catch him but the referee to deemed it worthy of a yellow card. Five minutes before the break some great interplay by Mulhall, Fennell and then Lee Doyle saw the latter put Owens in on goal but Ashe came to the rescue as the striker bore down on goals.
The second half started with The Mull on the front foot and a long pass by centre half Doyle picked out Mulhall who seemed to be impeded as he ran into the box but the referee waved the appeals away. Two minutes later the energetic Dean Fennessy played a great ball to Owens who hit a powerful shot from twenty yards but Kenny dived full length to tip the ball out for a corner. Fennessy’s influence was growing on the game and he hit a beautiful diagonal pass to Lee Doyle who was brought down in the box and the ref pointed to the spot. Mulhall stepped up but Kenny was again the hero as he saved the spot kick. On the hour mark a great ball by Mulhall picked out Owens who was through on goals but was fouled on the edge of the area and from the Mulhall free kick Kenny again proved to be in top form. Lee Doyle then got on the end of some brilliant intricate passing by Fennessy and Owens and Kenny tipped Doyle’s effort off the line Mulhall was following up but seen his strike come off the crossbar. In a rare foray up the other end of the pitch Malone worked his way down the wing and crossed to the back post which fell to McHugh but Nathan Doyle was again in the right place to cut out the danger. With ten minutes remaining came the save of the game when a Mulhall floated free kick picked out Timmy Doyle and Kenny again dived full length to tip his volley out for a corner.
The start of extra time seen the home side caught cold on the counter attack when Brandon latched on to a headed clearance and cross from the left where McHugh rose highest to head the ball into the net to put Bond one up. Clonmullion seemed to be shocked by this and gain were caught out two minutes later when the same combination saw McHugh round Lawless to make it two nil. Just before the half time whistle of extra time Daly won the ball in the middle of the park and put Carey in to make int 3 nil at the break. With their never say die attitude Clonmullion started the second half of extra time on the attack and a great move involving Fennell and substitutes Ross Cardiff and Lee Day saw the ball fall to Mulhall but once again Kenny saved acrobatically. With ten minutes remaining the home side got the goal they deserved when a Mulhall free kick was headed goal wards by Cardiff and fellow sub Rickie Moriarty applied the finishing header. Cardiff was again involved when he back heeled a pass from Mulhall into the path of Danny Thompson whose left footed curling effort was again repelled by Kenny. With two minutes left another Mulhall pinpoint free kick was deftly flicked by a Robinson header into the roof of the net to make it 3 2. The Mull then had a series of corners and battled right to the end but just could not get the equaliser. Best for Oliver Bind were Ashe at the back Daly and Malone in the middle and Carey and McHugh up top. Best for the valiant losers were Timmy and Nathan Doyle at the back Fennessy, Lee Foley and Robinson in the middle and Mulhall, Lee Doyle and Owens up front while keeper Adam Kenny in the visitors goals was outstanding. Clonmullion are one of two teams representing Kildare in this season’s competition with Suncroft AFC getting a bye to Round 2. Best wishes to Suncroft in their game.