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Feature game - Leinster Leader

KDFL Under 20 Division 2 

Straffan AFC 2 Coill Dubh AFC 4

Coill Dubh's U20s made the short journey to Doctor's Road in Clane to take on Straffan who sat just below them on the table with 9 points each, Staffan in search for their third win in a row. The Dubh's came into this match looking for a reaction following defeat to St Anthony's Youths the previous weekend. The match kicked off with an immediate display of dominance from Coill Dubh as they wasted no time in asserting their attacking prowess. Within two minutes star boy Cian MacMahon capitalised on a defensive lapse from Straffan to open the scoring with a clinical finish, setting the tone for his team's early dominance. 

Undeterred by the early setback, Straffan attempted to regroup and mount a comeback with PJ Breslin and Daniel Farrell at the heart of their attack. However, their efforts were thwarted once again in the eighteenth minute when Cian MacMahon struck again, doubling Coill Dubh's lead with another well-taken goal, leaving the Straffan defence reeling. MacMahon has been a key figure in this U20 side and will look forward to another promising campaign in senior football this year. As the first half progressed, Coill Dubh continued to dictate proceedings, with their midfield orchestrating attacks and their defence standing firm against Straffan's advances. Four minutes before the break, Conor Walsh of Coill Dubh further extended their lead with a composed finish, effectively putting the game beyond Straffan's reach as the teams headed into halftime with Coill Dubh leading comfortably by three goals.

The halftime interval provided a much-needed opportunity for Straffan to reassess their strategy and rally for a comeback in the second half. Their determination bore fruit early in the second period when they managed to pull a goal back on the hour mark when Micheal Behan beat the visitor’s right full to make a great cross for Cathal Keely to score Straffan’s first injecting a sense of renewed hope into their ranks. However, any hopes of a miraculous turnaround were swiftly dashed as Coill Dubh responded emphatically with Josh O'Brien finding the back of the net just four minutes later to restore their three-goal cushion, leaving Straffan with a mountain to climb. Despite facing an uphill battle, Straffan continued to fight valiantly, managing to claw another goal back through Cathal Kelly to keep the contest alive. However, Coill Dubh's resilience proved too much to overcome as they maintained their composure to see out the game.

As the final whistle blew, it was Coill Dubh who emerged victorious, securing a commendable 4-2 win and valuable three points. The result sees Coill Dubh climb to third place in the league standings, highlighting their growing stature as formidable contenders in the competition. Overall, it was a pulsating encounter characterised by relentless attacking football and moments of individual brilliance, with Coill Dubh ultimately emerging as deserving winners on the day. Manager Adrian McNamee was delighted with his team calling it their best game of the season so far, outstanding performance by everyone." There were superb displays from Cian MacMahon, Conor Walsh and Josh O'Brien. Coill Dubh's Man of Match was awarded to Matthew Kennedy, who's industrious performance in midfield was crucial to the win. Best for straffan was their man of the match Jamie Gillespie in goal who pulled off some amazing stops, also to the fore there Daniel Farrell and Cathal Kelly with another two goals to add to his tally. 

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