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Feature game - Leinster Leader

Leinster Football Association Junior Cup (Round 3)

Clonmullion FC (KDFL) 4 Ferns United FC (WEX) 2

Clonmullion booked their place in the last 32 of the Leinster Junior Cup with this win over one of the Wexford League's top sides Ferns United. The Mull started brightly and when Chris Chanders intercepted the ball from Thomas Hawkins and played a great through ball to Jody Dillon. Hawkins in trying to make up for his mistake tripped Dillon in the box and the referee pointed to the spot and Mark Hughes made no mistake down low to the keeper's right to put his side 1 up after five minutes. A few minutes later the high press almost paid dividends again when this time Dillon blocked down an attempted clearance from Max Megan and the ball fell to Chanders who pulled his left footed effort just wide. 

On the quarter hour mark Hughes drilled a great ball through to Cody Mulhall whose clever dummy took out two defenders and Nicky Leonard ran on to put in a great cross towards Dillon arriving at the back post but Hawkins just done enough to clear the danger. Ferns were content to play long balls out of defence and with twenty minutes gone one such ball was misjudged by the advancing Will Kenny and Evan Ryan ran onto the missed clearance to make it 1 all totally against the run of play. Garry Comerford was next to test Ferns keeper Martin O Connor when he played a neat one two with Nathan Robinson but the keeper saved with his feet.

Leonard Dillon and Chanders then combined beautifully to create an opening for Mulhall but O Connor again saved well with his legs. Comerford and Robinson were next to create a chance for Dillon but he seen his header tipped over the bar for a corner. On the half hour mark Lee Doyle played a brilliant defence splitting pass to Mulhall who was taken down by Ryan Nolan inside the box to earn his side another penalty. Hughes again stepped up but this time his low driven effort came back off the inside of the post and was cleared to safety. The home side continued to search for another goal and when Keane Cully picked out Comerford who went on a lung bursting run from his own half beating 3 players on the way he just pushed his finish wide of the post. Robinson was next to try his luck after great interplay between Cully and Comerford but his shot flew just over the bar. Another long ball from the visitors caused confusion in the home defence and keeper Kenny was decisive in coming out to clear the danger before striker Ivan Meegan almost got on the end of it. Just before half time Cully sprayed a beautiful diagonal ball out to Mulhall who's first time effort was brilliantly saved by again by O Connor. 

Ferns were first to threaten in the second half when winger Ryan chipped a great ball through to Patrick Breen and as he bore down on goal Hughes intervened with a brilliantly timed tackle. However Clonmullion took the lead again only a minute later when Cully passed to Mulhall who laid the ball off to Doyle who chipped the ball to the back post where Dillon nodded the ball down to Chanders to side foot home. Benny Lawlor was next to pick out Dillon who controlled the dropping ball on his chest and he spun and shot just over. Lawlor was again involved when he received the ball from Hughes and beat Mikey Dempsey and passed to Dillon who laid it off to Chanders who drilled the ball to the back of the net to make it 3 1. With fifteen minutes remaining Chanders completed the hat trick when Robinson passed to Dillon who teed up Mulhall and his shot was only parried by O Connor and Chanders was first to react and slide home from close range to make it 4 1. The visitors got a consolation goal with only minutes remaining when Meegan cut out a Cully clearance and volleyed home from ten yards out. Clonmullion probably should have won by more but the fact that they are still off season and not playing competitive games was a huge factor. They now face another Wexford side next week Rosslare Rangers away from home. 

Best for the visitors were Keeper Martin O Connor who had an outstanding game, Nolan and Hawkins in defence Ryan and Breen in the middle and Meegan up front. Best for Clonmullion were Hughes and Cully in defence Robinson and Comerford in the middle and Mulhall and Dillon up front and man of the match Chris Chanders not just for his hat trick but also for his work rate. 

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