FEATURE GAME LEINSTER LEADER
KDFL SENIOR DIVISION
SUNCROFT AFC 2 COILL DUBH AFC 2
A share of the spoils was a fair result in this KDFL Senior League midtable clash between Suncroft AFC and Coill Dubh AFC. The home side’s search for that elusive first home win continues for another week while Coill Dubh had their tails up following their 4-1 mid week victory over Kilcock Celtic FC. The Croft side got the better of the early exchanges and scored the game's first goal with thirteen minutes played. Craig Durney's through ball finding Niall Costigan who coolly slotted the ball past the Coill Dubh 'keeper Luke Anderson for his first senior goal. Suncroft almost doubled their lead moments later when a Kieron Sheedy pass was latched onto by Durney who, despite beating his marker and the goalkeeper, lost his footing at the crucial moment and could only fire over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Ten minutes later Coill Dubh then equalised shortly after with a Suncroft player handling from a Sean MacMahon cross which the referee blew for a penalty, Ryan Murran dispatched well making it 1-1.
The home side regained their one goal advantage shortly after, Dylan Connolly's free-kick from 25 yards was parried into the path of the on-rushing Niall Costigan who scored his and Suncroft second goal of the day.
The challenge presented to Coill Dubh was made tougher late in the first half when they lost their right full Joe Kenny to a red card, picking up a second yellow for a high tackle on Josh Lee having picked up his first card in the opening minutes for a late challenge on Costigan. The visitors then soaked up the pressure for the remaining minutes of the half with no real openings for either side to leave the home side going in at the half a goal to the good.
On the resumption Suncroft failed to make their numerical advantage count. Despite the generally sloppy play from the home side, there were some opportunities to get the third goal that likely would have put the tie to bed, Ben Kinsella having his shot from right side of the area partially saved and then cleared off the line, Costigan firing wide from close range after getting on the end of a whipped Cathal Mahon cross and Costigan again seeing his well struck volley brilliantly tipped onto the post by the Coill Dubh 'keeper. As the half wore on, the 10 men of Coill Dubh grew in confidence that they could rescue something from the game. Veteran Noel Byrne having come on early in the half and helping shore up their midfield, they forced a number of corners and free-kicks allowing them to pile bodies into the Suncroft box. The away side got the equaliser that their efforts deserved with five minutes to play, more sloppy play in possession from the home side seeing them lose possession in their own half and when the ball was slipped through to Noel Byrne 'Croft 'keeper Colin Farrell mistimed his challenge for the ball resulting in second penalty for Coill Dubh. The second penalty was converted as comfortably as the first by Ryan Murran making it 2-2 with only minutes left to play. Some late pressure from Suncroft didn't amount to any goal chances with Suncroft drawing their second home game in a row 2-2 after conceding late equalisers.
A good result for our First Team lads after going down to 10 men early on away to Suncroft which is never an easy game. Great effort from everyone in the coill dubh colours to rescue the point working tirelessly until the end. Standout performances from Luke Anderson making some fantastic saves at important times, Billy McNamee at the Back and Sean Macmahon a constant threat.
Suncroft had their strongest performers on the day in man of the match Costigan, the hard working midfield pair of Gary Lowe and Craig Durney with another solid performance from full back Josh Lee. The 'Croft will be hoping to kick start their home form when they face Kilcullen at the Community Grounds next Friday night.