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KDFL SENIOR DIV TEAM FOCUS

Clane United FC 5 Clonmullion FC 3


When others were satisfied watching the Euros an excellent display of grassroots football was played out in Doctors road Clane in front of a large attendance on Friday evening last. The first meeting of 2023 double winners Clonmullion FC and Clane United. These encounters are always hard fought and Friday night was no exception in this scintillating game of football. It was the visitors who took the lead with eight minutes gone when Lee Foley intercepted a kick out from keeper John Ball and hit a great shot from twenty five yards out to the top corner of the net. The visitors went close again five minutes later when Nathan Robinson passed to Lee Day who headed onto Benny Lawlor who crossed towards Jody Dillon at the back post but Jack Kelly nodded behind for a corner. The lead was doubled with twenty minutes gone when Keane Cully picked out Dillon with a beautifully floated free kick and he headed back across goal where Chris Chanders applied the finish. A few minutes later Clane were awarded a free kick which Andrew Hyland struck and the wall did its job but it rebounded to Kelly who shot over the top. With half an hour gone Nathan Germaine kicked a long ball to Chanders who headed on to Lawlor who lobbed the advancing keeper but it went just over. Three minutes later came the move of the match when Jamie Boyne passed to Lawlor who fired a pass out wide to Day who clipped a lovely ball to the back post where Chanders nodded back across the keeper to make it 3 nil. With ten minutes remaining in the first half Liam Dean pulled one back with a fine left footed volley after the visitors had lost the ball in midfield. Five minutes later James Ralph went on a strong run down the right wing and his deflected shot squirmed through the grasp of the keeper to make it 3 2 at half time. 


Clane drew level five minutes into the second half after a mazy run and cross by Deane who crossed to Ralph who made no mistake. The visitors almost went ahead again after great interplay by Day and Lawlor led to Robinson having a shot that was well blocked by Kelly. Clane went ahead on the sixty fifth minute when Sean Connolly and Hyland combined with the latter having a shot that was well saved by Germaine but it fell to Cathal Geoghegan who fired home. With 1ten minutes remaining the home side made it 5 3 when Hyland crossed to the back post where Deane headed home. Best for the winners were Commisky, Deane, Ralph and  Connolly.



Kilcullen AFC 1 Old Fort Celtic FC 0


On a wet evening on the Avondale, Kilcullen AFC took on Old Fort Celtic FC in a return KDFL Senior fixture, with a massive three points up for grabs and needed by both teams. Kilcullen started off the better team with some early chances from Dylan Aulsberry and Dean Conroy. Kilcullen grew into the game but Old Fort got their game going and created some chances in the first half through Byron McGuirk and Lee Carroll Talbot but Kilcullen had a solid back four well marshalled by Jack Broe and Shane Lawlor who was in between the sticks were very much up for the task. The game went into half time 0-0.

 

The second half started with both teams needing to get the first goal. It was end to end stuff until the eightieth minute when Kilcullen broke the deadlock when a ball from Ross Connor Dowling was played into Niall Flynn who was calm and collected and coolly shot past the ball by the Old Fort keeper Bland to make it 1 nil Kilcullen. Kilcullen satback for the final ten minutes happy to protect their narrow lead while Old Fort put Kilcullen under pressure but could not break down the solid Kilcullen back line. Best for Kilcullen this evening for Dean Conroy, Jack Broe, Dylan Aulsberry but Man of the Match for Kilcullen was keeper Shane Lawlor. Best for OFC were midfield trio Ogie Brown, Byron McGuirk and Lee Carroll Talbot and left back Tyler Dempsey. 



Naas United FC 5 Newbridge Hotspurs FC 3


Despite several of Hotspurs players missing and number of players playing with injuries, a highly entertaining game was had in Monread Park this morning which saw league leaders Naas Utd overcome Hotspurs on a 5-3 scoreline. Hotspurs got off to the best of starts when Scott O’Donoghue took the lead on the fourth minute. It came via a fine pass from Tommy Walsh to Scott on the left hand side, he ran at the right back and then took a shot with it taking a slight deflection to go past Naas Keeper Keith Higgins, 1-0 to Hotspurs. On the seventh minute, Naas had their first chance of the game when following some good play from Paul Omoteso who freed Sheldan Mbala  and he took a shot but it was deflected wide. At the other end on the tenth minute, Hotspurs had another chance when Tomas Hennessy shot just wide of the mark and six minutes later Hotspur’s Reece Winders pulled off a fantastic save from close range to deny Naas an equaliser. On the twenty second minute, Hotspurs were denied a penalty when Greg Kelly was taken down in the penalty box, the ref however waived play on. Following some near misses by Naas’s Daragh Faherty and Niall Faherty who went very close on two occasions, the equaliser finally came for naas on the hour hour following a great cross from Daragh Faherty who found Paul Omoteso and the striker on his return debut made no mistake. On the stroke of half time Naas hit the post. In injury time of the first half, Hotspurs were denied a second goal when Greg Kelly’s shot into the back of the net from a Scott O’Donoghue pass was adjudged to be offside. The game went in at half time 1-1.


Hotspurs started the second half quite brightly and it was Hotspurs Greg Kelly who had the first chance of the half, his shot went just over the bar. Seven minutes later Hotspur’s Scott O’Donoghue had a shot well saved by the Higgins in the Naas goal. Two minutes later Hotspurs conceded a second goal of the game when a Niall Faherty cross found his brother Daragh to finish superbly on the volley .Naas were well on top now and added a third when more terrific wing play from Sheldon Mbala resulted in Niall Faherty slotting home. Naas fourth arrived three minutes later when Paul Omoteso got his second after good set up play from Ritchie French and Jordan Martella and Manny Phillips. The home team were rampant now and the best of the lot was scored two minutes later through a thirty yard dipping volley from Sheldon Mbala. Some changes were made by Hotspurs and to Hotspurs credit they kept fighting. They were rewarded on the seventy second minute when a fine Greg Kelly cross was met by Noel Kelly on the edge of the box whom struck an outrageous half volley for it to got into the top corner, 5-2 and with ten minutes remaining Hotspur’s Mikey Murphy shot just wide for Hotspurs, five minutes later a Mikey Murphy free kick was parried by the Naas custodian Keith Higgins but Noel Kelly was on hand to chip over him from close range to make it 5-3. With two minutes remaining of normal time Hotspurs almost put the minimum between the sides when Noel Kelly almost had a hat trick but his header was well saved by Higgins. Best for the winners were Daragh Faherty, Danny Phillips, Paul Omoteso, Victor Oladapo, Marvin Mbala ,Jamie Nolan, Ritchie French and man of the match the very impressive Sheldon Mbala. Best for Hotspurs were Scott O’Connor, Greg Kelly, Mikey Murphy and Hotspurs Man of the Match Noel Kelly



Arlington FC 2 Coill Dubh AFC 0


Arlington bolstered their Senior Division title aspirations with a decisive victory over a resilient Coill Dubh side. Arlington took time to crack a stubborn coil dubh this morning in what was a possession dominant display at home in Castle Park. The home side started brightly and had an early change to Ceilum Maher. Four minutes later however the visitors could have edged ahead but Jason Devine saw his well taken effort crash off the post. The home side were happy to keep the ball and try pick holes in the visitors defence with the final pass just missing after some good build up play on numerous occasions in what was a comfortable first half for the home side. It was 0-0 at half time. 


The home side started the second brightly and could have taken the lead but Ceilum Maher’s effort was well saved by the coil dubh keeper. A well worked freekick by  Arlington’s Jake Nicholl found its way to Thomas Kenny on the edge of the box who drove an effort towards goal which was blocked and fell to Ceilum maher to shoot but again was well saved by the visiting keeper. Arlington pressed again for the opener when a short corner between Maher and Olu Solanke was played to Robbie Mc Neill on the edge of the box who smashed a strike into a body of players and blocked into the air were Jason Conlon rose to nod down to Shane Nealon at the back post who struck the side netting. The opening goal finally came on the seventy fourth minutes when a corner by Jake Nicholl from the right found Shane Nealon at the back post who headed back into a dangerous area which was flicked on Craig Fleet who found Pheilim o Kane, however his effort was blocked and kept alive by Jason Conlon and the ball fell nicely to Nicholl who was brought down in the box by Coill Dubh defender Conor Comiskey.  Up stepped Nealon to smash home the penalty to give Arlington a deserved lead after some great pressure. As Coill Dubh pressed for an equaliser the home side doubled their lead three minutes later when good work from McNeill and Solanke feed Ceilum Maher who clipped ball into the path of Jake Nicholl driving forward from midfield and he beat the last defender and bent the ball into the bottom left corner with the keeper beaten to make it 2-0. Best on the day for Arlington were Robbie Mc Neill , Solanke & Maher with Motm going to Jake Nicholl with a goal and assist on the day. Throughout the match, Coill Dubh's defensive quartet of Joe Bowers, Eoin O'Reilly, Conor Brady on the left wing, and Ryan Murran in center midfield performed admirably, despite the eventual outcome favouring Arlington



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