Clane Utd 4 Clongorey FC 3
Clongorey came up against potentially the top side in Kildare so they knew the task was difficult. The game started at a frantic pace and within two minutes Sean Gallagher intercepted a pass which he struck with tremendous power but a great save by the home keeper John Ball. It sparked the home side into a higher level of play. Adam Doyle, Marvin and the newbies of the 2023 season.Gary Hunt, Sam O Neill and Ciaran Begley knew they were going to have a hard time of it. The break through came from the right hand side and was well dispatched by Raasdi Nsimba giving Adam Doyle no chance to fire the home side into the lead. Cian O Connor,Leon Tsang and Sheldon began causing problems for the home side. The equilizser was a great goal set up by Sheldon and dispatched by Cian O Connor to level matters at 1-1. Sean Carter and Emmett o Brien were doing double the work. Then the impressive Leon Tsang made it 2 – 1 following a period of pressure by the visitors. Clane again took control and their persistence paid off But the pressure paid off with two goals in quick succession, the first from the impressive Nsimba following good work from James Ralph and the second came from a Andy Brogan shot which was deflected to the Clongorey net to leave Clane 3- 2 up going into the break.
The second half started and from the off there was added effort put into all the challenges and the work rate of all the clongorey players was incredible. They got their due rewards with a fantastic team play and Cian O Connor finished brilliantly to level the game at 3-3. Clongorey players began to feel the effects of previous games but still battled forcing numerous corners but no rewards. A quick counter attack led to Clane getting what was eventually the winner when an Eoghan Maguire effort took another deflection to make it 4-3 to the home side. Clongorey’s Sheldon and Leon had chances to level but the home side defence was equal to the task. A great game for the neutral best for the away side Emmett o Brien, Sean Carter, Marvin and Gary Hunt. Their man of the match was Cian o Connor. They were pushed all the way by Leon Tsang who is travelling to Canada shortly and the Club would like to wish him the best. Best for the winners were Cathal Geoghegan, James Ralph, Jack Kelly and Mark Kelly.
Newbridge Hotspurs 2 Rathangan AFC 1
Hotspurs were looking to continue to build on their fine recent run of form with a tough home game against Rathangan. Following a 2-2 draw between both sides in the first game of the season, this was sure to be another tight affair.
Hotspurs started the game with intent and within just a minute had a glorious chance to make it 1-0. It was a cross from Scott O’Donoghue which found Chris Higgins who shot just over the bar from close range. Just three minutes later, Hotspurs had another gilt edged chance, good play from Shane Smith on the right passed to Mikey Murphy who shot from close range but the shot shaved the outside of the post. A few minutes later, Hotspurs went close again when a Scott O’Donoghue shot went just over the bar. Hotspurs were hoping that they wouldn’t be left to rue these early chances. However, Hotspurs found the breakthrough on the seventeenth minute, fine link up play between Tomas Hennessy and Anthony Durney ultimately led to a pass to Scott O’Connor, O’Connor whipped a fantastic cross into the box which found Scott O’Donoghue who struck with his left foot on the half volley to find the bottom corner of the net. Just ten minutes later, Scott O’Donoghue again went close when he hit a similar half volley from a Mikey Murphy header which went just wide.
Rathangan did however start to press Newbridge and created a few half chances. The Hotspurs back four of Scott O’Connor, Jeff Haliti, Sean Higgins and Robbie Higgins aided by the energetic Tomas Hennessy in midfield did enough to thwart the Rathangan attack, Rathangan did come close just before half time when a shot from close range skimmed the post. The game went in at half time 1-0.
Rathangan started the second half with intent and had a decent amount of possession but once again Hotspurs were proving a stubborn defence to break down. Ryan Harvey was forced into an early save but dealt with it well. On the sixtieth minute, Chris Higgins was unlucky when his shot was well saved by the Rathangan keeper. Five minutes later Hotspurs had a Scott O’Donoghue corner cleared off the line and the follow up header from Jeff Haliti was just wide of the post. Hotspurs made a double substitution when Eoin Walsh and Eoin McGrath entered the fray. Both had an impact when on the seventy seventh minute, Hotspurs made it 2-0. The goal came from Robbie Higgins linking up well with Durney and Mikey Murphy, Murphy passed to Walsh on the left, Walsh made a fine left footed cross into the box and Eoin McGrath was on hand to slot home from close range. Shortly afterwards, Rathangan had a triple chance but the three chances were saved by Hotspurs keeper Ryan Harvey. Hotspurs were managing the game well and Mikey Mooney and Greg Kelly also entered the field of play at this point. However on the 85th minute, Rathangan were awarded a free kick and the subsequent strike by the impressive Colin Scanlon found the back of the net. On the 89th minute, Hotspurs almost made it 3-1 when Eoin McGrath shot just wide. The game finished 2-1 to Hotspurs.
Best for Hotspurs: Jeff Haliti, Tomas Hennessy, Mikey Murphy, Scott O’Donoghue and Hotspurs Man of the Match Robbie Higgins. Best for Rathangan were Colin Scanlan, Stefan Lawlor and Tone Byrne
Ballycane Celtic 2 Coill Dubh AFC 1
Coill Dubh traveled to Naas to take on Ballycane Celtic, confident of picking up three valuable points and to edge away from the drop zone. The home side came into this game knowing a win was imperative to keep their senior division status alive. The cane flew out of the blocks and were playing some lovely flowing football with Leon Doyle and Dean Preston pulling the strings in the middle. On fifteen minutes some super work from Jake o Reilly sent Robert Heavey through on goal but his shot was well saved by the Coill Dubh custodian. Five minutes later another chance for Heavey when a pin point Leon Doyle free kick found him at the back post and somehow he pulled his header wide from five yards. Coill Dubh were not without their chances too and their first chance fell to Conor Comiskey, whose strike was only inches wide of the keeper's left-hand post. It was an encouraging sign for the Dubh's, with Jack O'Brien and Ryan Murran winning the midfield battle and the visitors too the lead in the thirty sixth minute when Joe Bowers dispatched a penalty awarded for a handball getting the better of the home keeper Shane Herbert.
The cane needed a response and just before the half they got it. Another Doyle delivery found Heavey at the back post again except this time he put the ball back across goal for the onrushing Archibald to tap home from close range to leave the sides going in deadlocked at 1-1 at the break with all to play for.
It was more of the same in the second half as the home side took possession looking for that winner. A few half chances came and went for both teams but to no avail. On seventy sixth minute the visitors hit the crossbar with a well worked move and shot from 25 yards. Dan whittaker who worked tirelessly all through the game nearly got through but the Coill Dubh defender did some excellent work. With seven minutes remaining the }Cane got that all important winning goal when Jake o Reilly won the ball in the middle and played a terrific defence splitting pass to his nephew Callum who slotted the ball calmly past the onrushing Anderson in the visiting goal. Coill dubh threw everything at Ballycane but the defensive partnership of Wayne Doyle and Archibald in defence stood firm to get a much needed three points for the cane.
Best for the home side were bubba Doyle and Archibald in defence, Preston in the middle with Heavey and o Reilly working tirelessly. Man of the match Eoin Archibald. For Coill Dubh, they now have a mountain to climb to survive in the Senior Division. Ryan Murran and Jack O'Brien had good performances, while Cian McMahon started at left full-back before being moved to the right wing and had one of his best days at the senior level.
Arlington FC 0 Clonmullion FC 1
Clonmullion made the trip Arlington AFC and were offered a stern test by the newly promoted side. The visitors were the first to threaten on the seven minute after great interplay by Timmy Doyle and Johnny Fennell with the latter swinging in a cross which Lee Doyle managed to redirect over his head towards goals but it flew just over. A few minutes later the 2 Doyles combined again when Timmy picked out Lee with a beautiful diagonal ball and the winger whipped in a great cross which Jodie Dillon headed over the bar. With fifteen minutes gone and Clonmullion firmly on top with Mark Hughes dictating things from the back, the classy centre half picked out Nathan Robinson who raided down the right and crossed towards the back post but Fennell failed to get on the end of it.
It took Arlington time to settle and on the twentieth minute Daniel Stepanov played a lovely ball to Shane Nealon who in turn found Olu Solanke but Jay Connell just got back in time to get in a crucial tackle. Two minutes later Arlington keeper Evan Gratton came way out of his goals to take a free kick which was won by Hughes who cleared to Robinson who tried his luck from inside his own half with the keeper still running back towards his area but his audacious effort floated just wide. With thirty three minutes on the clock came the breakthrough when Connell rose highest to head a corner clear to Lee Doyle who hit a first time pass over the top to Dillon who flicked the ball past the advancing keeper but Gratton tripped the striker in the box and referee Alan Finn pointed to the spot. Hughes stepped up and blasted the ball to the back of the net. The visitors almost doubled the lead when a Robinson free kick picked out Connell at the back post and he headed back into the danger area where Timmy Doyle lifted his effort over the bar. Just before half time Clonmullion had a scare when Ceilum Maher put Nealon in on goal but Hughes just about got enough of the ball to avert the danger. Right on the stroke of half time the same combination of Maher and Nealon put Solanke through but Mull keeper Michael Lawless made a good save with his feet.
Five minutes into the second half Lawless was again called in to action when Solanke won the ball in midfield and set up Nealon but the keeper was equal to the shot. The home side were having their best period of the game Chris Hoskins played a lovely diagonal pass to Jake Nicholls who was in on goal but for a last ditch tackle by Nicky Leonard. Dean Fennesy won a ball in the centre circle and as he jinked past the first few tackles he was taken down thirty yards out. Lee Doyle took the resultant free kick which he whipped into the penalty area and Connell rose highest but headed wide. Then came the save of the game when Nicholls swung in a corner and Craig Fleet rose highest to head on target but somehow Lawless dived full length to claw the ball out of the danger area to safety. A truly wonderful save. Arlington would again go close from a set piece with a quarter of an hour remaining, when Nicholls corner kick fell to Stepanov but he headed wide. At the other end Gratton had to be on his toes to deny Lee Doyle after great approach play by Lee Day and Fennessy. The champions used all their experience to see the game out and take home another valuable three points. Best for Clonmullion were Lawless in goals, Connell and Hughes in defence, Doyle, Foley and Robinson in midfield and Dillon worked hard up top. Best for Arlington were custodian Gratton, Hoskins and Fleet at the back, Stepanov and Solanke in midfield and Nealon up front.
MIDWEEK ACTION !
Coill Dubh AFC 0 Clongorey FC 1
Clongorey were the visitors to Cusack Park on Tuesday night. Headed up by former Coill Dubh midfield general Sean Casey on what was a fine summers evening for football. The Dubh's are in need of win after their recent poor form to keep hopes of playing Senior Division football next year alive.
The Dubh's would dominate the battle for possession in the first half but lacked the finishing touch to make it count. The Dubh's had their first chance in the first minute. Some quick passing play from the back saw Conor Comiskey battle his way through the Clongorey defence after a superb through pass by Ryan Murran. Comiskey attempted to square the ball but it was well smothered by the Clongorey man. Clongorey's first chance would fall seconds later. A short corner flummoxed the Dubh's defence and forced a save from Luke Anderson. Clongorey's rebound shot would then sail well wide of the post. On the 13th minute, another chance fell for the Dubh's. Cian McMahon's pass to Conor Comiskey was whipped across the 6-yard box, but Dillon Hannon failed to connect. Clongorey looked dangerous and should have taken the lead in the 16th minute when a striker shot just wide. Two more chances came their way, only for poor finishing and the ever-impressive Luke Anderson in goal.
The breakthrough arrived in the forty third minute for the visitors when Cian O Connor finished off a great passing move involving Carter, Begley, O Brien and the experienced Richard Kenna. The Dubh's would nearly hit back immediately, a long Anderson goal kick found Dylan Hannon in acres of space on the right wing. Hannon placed an excellent weighted pass to Conor Comiskey who drove into the Clongorey area but no one was able to meet his squared cross. Some excellent pressing from Cian MacMahon resulted in a turnover in possession. MacMahon passed to Ryan Murran, whose cross from the edge of the area allowed found an unmarked Joe Bowers. His effort was parried by the Clongorey keeper Adam Doyle, allowing for a follow up. Bowers could not get much power behind it and it was scooped up by Doyle. The last chance of the first half fell to the ever-industrious Jack O'Brien, whose shot went just wide.
In the second half three golden chances would fall for Craig Lenihan, the first of which was brilliantly saved by the keeper and was unable to convert the other two. Shane Bowers gave an impressive performance when introduced delivered many telling cross moments and was solid defensively. Clongorey were dominant in the second half and were dangerous in the final third. With better finishing, they surely would have secured a comfortable victory. Jack O'Brien carried the game for the Dubh's for much of the match and should take heart from his performance, as should Cian McMahon, Ryan Murran, Jason Wyse, Shane Bowers, and the reliable Luke Anderson.
Best for the winners on the day Marvin Mbala, Richard Kenna, Emmett o Brien, Cian o Connor and their man of the match Sean Carter.
Rathangan AFC 4 Ballycane Celtic 0
Ballycane travelled to Rathangan on Tuesday evening hoping to get their season on track. The cane started brightly and had a great chance when Dan whittaker found himself 1 on 1 with the Rathangan keeper who pulled of a wonderful save to knock the ball onto the post and away from safety. On twelve minutes once again the post came to Rathangan’s rescue when Callum o Reilly made a beautiful run in behind the defence and rolled the ball under the keeper but it came back off the post. Rathangan took the lead on sixteenminutes when a beautifully whipped in ball found the winger who squared the ball to Moore who tapped it in. Rathangan went 2-0 up two minutes later when the winger found himself free in the box and rifled the ball home from close range.
Ballycane kept playing though and had a couple of half chances from Jake o Reilly and Keelan Noone.
Ballycane came out of the blocks with all guns blazing and should have got one back
When Callum o Reilly stung the palms off the Rathangan keeper. On fifty three minutes Rathangan took the wind out of Ballycane’s sails with a header from the back post somehow finding it's way into the net. It's was end to end for the remainder of the game. On eighty eight minutes the home side got their fourth of the game with a ball whipped in and a looping header over Herbert in the goal. Best for the visitors were Archibald and Doyle in defence. Both o Reillys and Dan Whittaker in midfield.
Clonmullion FC 3 Clane United FC 2
Clane United travelled to Michael O Neill Park on Tuesday evening and were unlucky not to come away with something from the game. It was a pretty even start to the game with all the action in the middle third with neither keeper being troubled too much .The home side broke the deadlock on the half hour mark with a quick free kick that caught the Clane defence napping and made to make it 1-0. Clane quickly equalised three minutes later through a Stephen Dunne penalty after a Clonmullion player handled in the penalty area to leave the sides going in deadlocked at the break.
It was even steven for most of the second half also but the visitors edged ahead through dean Comisky on the seventy eight minute when Cathal Geoghegan made a good run into the penalty area and the ball found its way to Comiskey who shot low into the corner pass the home keeper. The home side grabbed an equaliser with two minutes of normal time remaining after a Clane defender was adjudged to have handballed and with two minutes of time added on the home side grabbed a later winner to steel all three points. Best for Clane were Dean Comiskey, James Ralph and Killian Patchell.
Other midweek results.
Naas Utd 0 Newbridge Hotspurs FC 2
Suncroft AFC 1 Arlington FC 6