KDFL SENIOR DIVISION FOCUS
Rathangan AFC 3 Coill Dubh AFC 0
Moore shines just days home from overseas
Rathangan took on Coill Dubh on Friday evening in a very welcoming home crowd.
The visitors looking for a much-needed performance to get their season back on track against a tough, organized Rathangan side. And they would start brightly in the opening minutes, with Jack O'Brien pulling the strings in midfield. O'Brien played a neat pass to put Cian McMahon through on goal, but McMahon shot straight at David Tyrell in the Rathangan goal.
The Dubh's piled on the pressure and forced a couple of early corners, which were well dealt with by the Rathangan defense. In the final third, Rathangan proved to be a force to be reckoned with, especially with Alex Conlon and Arun Doyle on the flanks and the ever-threatening Lee Moore through the center.The home side looked very comfortable as they played intense football. They were in control in the early stages and unlucky not to find target in the first five minutes. They only had to wait a few minutes later when in the eleventh minute Iain Doyle intercepted the ball in midfield a pass to Tone Byrne who spotted Nathan Cullen running out on the left wing who beat the Coill Dubh defender to slide the ball across to spot Lee Moore who tapped the ball into the net to put the home side 1-0 up. The second goal came just after the half way mark when a shot again by Doyle was headed out by Coill Dubh only to find the foot of Tommy Power who perfectly spotted Arun Doyle who was one on one with the Coill Dubh goal keeper who tricked him in thinking he was going to shoot but passed to Moore again to only have to tap it again into the net.
The Dubh's delivered a much better performance than in recent weeks, playing some of their best football. Cian MacMahon and Jack O'Brien continued to combine well on a few occasions to give the travelling Dubh's faithful some hope however Rathangan were well in control and Coill Dubh would need a massive second half if they were to get anything out of this game. With Jim Brennan and Nathan Cullen solid in defence Coill Dubh were kept scoreless and it was 90 minute that denied Moore and hat trick. Alex Conlan quick feet and skill drew a foul to win a free. Arun Doyle curls the ball into Lee Moore who narrowly misses as it hits off a Coill Dubh defender to end the game with an OG for Rathangan to win at home 3-0 and very deserved win. Best for winners were Nathan Cullen, Jim Brennan, Tone Byrne and Lee Moore. The best players for the Dubh's were Conor Comiskey, Tim Barrett, Luke Anderson and Cian MacMahon. By far the best player on show tonight, Jack O'Brien.
Clane United FC 3 Suncroft AFC 2
Clane United shaded matters in the Senior Div tie against Suncroft AFC to remain unbeaten and tied at the top of the Division with last season’s League champions Clonmullion FC. The visitors started the brighter and went 1-0 up after eleven minutes. Suncroft dominated the early exchanges and home keeper John Ball performed heroics between the sticks to keep the home side in the game.
Clane looked dangerous on the break and levelled matters just after the half hour mark when James Ralph converted from close range. Suncroft edged in front for the second time just before the interval to leave the home side trailing going into the break.
Clane resumed in dominant fashion on the resumption and drew level for a second time ten minutes in when Ralph scored his and his side’s second. The home side grabbed all three points when a Dean Comiskey’s effort was deflected into the net by an unfortunate Suncroft defender. Suncroft threw everything at Clane in the dying minutes but the home side held firm to claim all three points. Best for the winners were Eoghan Maguire, Dean Comiskey, James Ralph, Sean Connolly and keeper John Ball.
Clonmullion FC 3 Clongorey FC 0
Clongorey were the latest visitors to Micheál O Neill Park and almost took the lead after five minutes when keeper Adam Doyle hit a long ball up field which cleared all the home defence and Sean Gallagher ran on to it and forced a good save from fit again home custodian Michael Lawless. Two minutes later Gallagher combined with Sheldon Mbala and Johnny Fennel was forced to scramble back behind Lawless and cleared off the line. Clongorey’s Emmet O Brien was looking very impressive in the centre of the park and It wasn't until the twentieth minute that the home side had an effort on goals when Garry Comerford won a 50/50 in midfield and passed to Jody Dillon who’s first time shot was tipped over by Doyle. Dillon was again involved as he linked with Nicky Leonard who laid the ball off to Nathan Robinson who crossed and Dillon headed straight at the keeper. Clonmullion thought they had taken the lead after Comerford and Lee Doyle played a quick 1 2 and passed to Robinson who slipped Dillon in behind the defence and he shot low to the net but the linesman flagged for offside. The home side were well on top when Dillon was fouled on the edge of the box Robinson stepped up and hit the free kick which just grazed the crossbar. Doyle was creating havoc down the right wing and he picked up the ball from Fennell and whipped in a great ball to the back post where Lee Foley arrived but failed to head on target. David Lawlor was next to go close after great build up by Timmy Doyle and Jay Connell but the front man was again denied by keeper Doyle. Centre halves Doyle and Connell continued to play out from the back which was causing the Clongorey midfield to be overrun and one such attack led to Lee Doyle unleashing a thirty yard screamer which Doyle dived full length to tip over the bar. Just on the stroke of half time and after a succession of corners Comerford picked out Connell who rose unopposed at the back post and he should have hit the target.
Two minutes into the second half The Mull should have taken the lead after Dillon went on a mazy dribble past three defenders and slid the ball to Lee Doyle but he blazed over from five yards out. In a rare foray upfield Hibo Do Santos found space out wide and hit a dangerous low cross which evaded everyone. ten minutes into the second half Clonmullion finally made the breakthrough from an excellently worked free kick delivered by Comerford to the alert Robinson to slot home. Five minutes later The Mull made it 2 nil when Mark Hughes hit a pinpoint diagonal ball over the advancing defence for Dillon to run on to and volley left footed to the back of the net. A few minutes later Clongorey were unlucky not to pull one back when Cian O Connor raided down the left and pulled the ball back to the edge of the box where Reece McLoughlin hit a powerful effort but Lawless reacted well to tip over. With twenty minutes remaining Comerford brought the best out of the keeper when he hit a great free kick over the wall but Doyle parried it to safety. The home side brought on Ross Cardiff and Ricky Moriarty and that duo combined well to set up Benny Lawlor who made it 3 nil and secured the points. Best for Clonmullion were the returning Lawless, Doyle and Connell at the back, Comerford and Robinson in midfield while Dillon and Lee Doyle were always dangerous whilst Marvin Mbala, Emmet O'Brien, Seán Gallagher and Adam Doyle turned in fine performances for visitors Clongorey.
Newbridge Hotspurs FC 3 Arlington FC 1
Hotspurs were looking to add to their encouraging draw last week against last season’s league Champions Clonmullion FC. This was their first home Saturday evening encounter of the season against fellow promotion rivals Arlington AFC. It was an entertaining game with both teams having chances in the first half. It was however the away side that drew first blood when they were awarded a penalty. Arlington converted the penalty to make it 1-0. Hotspurs didn’t let that phase them. On the fifteenth minute, Shane Smith could have made it 1-1 when he shot over the bar following a neat Robbie Higgins pass. Half way through the first half, Hotspurs were themselves awarded a penalty. Mikey Murphy duly stepped up and converted the penalty to make it 1-1. Shortly after this however, Arlington could have made it 2-1 but the shot was brilliantly saved by Hotspurs keeper Ryan Harvey. Both teams continued to create chances but the game went in deadlocked at half time 1-1.
Hotspurs started the second half with intent creating a number of chances. On the fifty fifth minute, Scott O’Donoghue almost made it 2-1 to Hotspurs when the Arlington keeper pulled off a great save to tip it over the bar. Five minutes later, Anthony Durney had a shot from long range but this was again well saved by the Arlington keeper. It was on approximately the seventy second minute when Hotspurs got their second goal. It came from a fine Mikey Murphy corner which found Jeff Haliti who headed towards Eoin McGrath, McGrath duly obliged with the headed pass and struck an outrageous and acrobatic kick which found the back of the net, 2-1 to Hotspurs. Hotspurs continued to press to get that third goal. On the eightieth minute, Sean Higgins went close when his header was saved. Just two minutes later however, Hotspurs were awarded a second penalty kick of the game. Mikey Murphy once again stepped up and converted to make it 3-1.The game ended 3-1 to Hotspurs securing their second league win of the season. Best for the winners were Chris Higgins, Robbie Higgins, Ryan Harvey . Hotspurs MOM Mikey Murphy