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KDFL SENIOR DIVISION FOCUS



Rathangan AFC 0 Suncroft AFC 1

Suncroft ended their recent run of poor results with a hard fought win away to Rathangan on Friday night. With great weather conditions and Rathangans pitch in excellent condition both teams served up a very entertaining fixture for those in attendance. The early phases of the game were played mostly in midfield with some neat football from both sides failing to carve out any real openings. Suncroft took the lead just before the half hour mark, Eamon Doyle's excellent pass setting Stevie Coyne free down the right wing, Coyne delivered a perfectly weighted cross that was met by the on-rushing Eoin Doyle who headed home his fifth goal of the season. Rathangan almost drew level within minutes of the restart, Aaron Doyle cutting inside from the left and firing in his shot from just inside the area but Suncroft 'keeper Keggy McDonnell pulled off a top class save to deny Rathangan an equaliser.


The midfield battle continued into the second period, Suncrofts Dylan Connolly, Kieran Sheedy and Cathal Mahon were working extremely hard to keep their counterparts Ian Doyle, Tommy Nolan and the freshly introduced Ross Lyons at bay while always providing outlets for their team when in possession. As the half wore on the home side continued to press seeking an equaliser and came very close when a mixup at the back for Suncroft saw the Rathangan’s Lee Doyle get sight of an open goal, Shane Higgins who had been dominant in the defence all evening somehow making a miraculous goal saving block to keep his team in the lead. Stevie Coyne had a late chance for Suncroft from a counter attack but his well struck effort just cleared the crossbar.


The away side had strong performances from their hard working midfield trio, with Josh Lee and Stevie Coyne impressing throughout also. Suncroft's clear man of the match on this occasion was Shane Higgins who was rock solid at the back on his first start for the club.Best for Rathangan were Dan Mulpeter and Dillon Broderick.




Clonmullion AFC 3 Naas United FC 1


Naas United were the latest visitors to a pristine Micheál O Neill Park on a glorious Saturday evening. The home side opened the scoring after only 5 minutes. Lee Day won the ball in midfield and passed to Garry Comerford who in turn found Jodie Dillon who’s cushioned pass fell perfectly to Nathan Robinson who rifled a great effort goalwards but Keith Higgins made a great save to tip the ball out for a corner. Comerford and Robinson combined from the resulting corner for a short corner routine with the former clipping the ball to the back post where Lee Foley headed back into the danger area and as the ball bobbled around Dean Fennessy was first to react and smashed the ball home from close range. Naas made their tactics known from an early stage and after ten minutes keeper Higgins launched the ball long upfield which beat the Clonmullion defence and Richie French got on the end of it but Michael Lawless was equal to the shot. 7 minutes later in an almost identical move Naas equalised with Daragh Faherty getting on the end of the long ball and slotting home low to the keeper's left. This seemed to lift the visitors confidence and with twenty minutes gone they again went close after Jay Connell headed a corner clear but it fell to Jordy Martella on the edge of the box but he blazed over. With twenty five minutes on the clock Lawless denied Samson Ormodeso after good approach play by Victor Olanape and Faherty. Fennesy combined well with Foley to put Dillon through on goal but he fired over from the edge of the box. Timmy Doyle was next to combine with Fennessy who jinked inside John Paul Higgins and picked out the dangerous Robinson but he fired just wide. Just before half time the visitors were awarded a penalty after a great mazy run by Faherty who wrong footed Connell who brought him down just inside the box. Centre half Higgins strode forward and blasted the ball low to the keeper's right but Lawless, who has the reputation as an expert penalty stopper, saved brilliantly to keep it all square at half time.

Whatever manager Barry Hughes said to his charges during the interval certainly seemed to have the desired effect as they began the second half on the attack. A great flowing move from the back with Lawless rolling the ball out to Doyle who passed to Comerford who clipped a lovely ball to Dillon who flicked it on to Robinson whose goal bound effort was deflected out for a corner by Ormodeso. From the resulting corner Connell nodded it back into the danger area where Dillon turned sharply but hit his shot straight at the keeper. Piling on the pressure the home side had a goal ruled out for what looked like a debatable offside after Lee Day pinged a great ball to Dillon who beat two defenders before laying the ball off to Benny Lawlor who fired home but the linesman raised the offside flag. Naas went close on the hour mark after keeper Higgins again launched a long ball which fell to Ormodeso who hooked the ball over his shoulder towards the top left hand corner but Lawless brilliantly dived full length to tip the ball around the post. With twenty five minutes remaining Lawlor was fouled out wide by Martella and Robinson swung in a great free kick and Connell rose highest to power his header home to score his first ever goal for The Mull. Five minutes later the home side almost made it 3 when Dillon headed on to substitute Dylan Kennedy who's delicate lob over the advancing keeper Higgins was cleared off the line by Olanape. Another corner from Comerford was flicked on by Doyle and Connell was again first to react at the back post where he headed down to Lawlor who's first time effort was cleared off the line by Olanape again. Then came the definitive moment of the game when some of the home players stopped claiming the ball had gone out over the sideline for a throw but Martella continued his run and crossed dangerously where French shielded the ball and was adjudged to have been fouled inside the area. This time Faherty stepped up to take the penalty but he blazed over the bar much to the delight of the large crowd of home supporters. With time almost up Benny Lawlor chased what seemed like a hopeless ball into the corner and won a corner which Robinson delivered dangerously towards the front post. Doyle flicked on to Kennedy who cooly controlled the dropping ball and fired home from an acute angle to mark his debut with the clinching goal and all 3 points for the reigning champions. Best for Clonmullion were Lawless who made two fantastic saves as well as a penalty save. Day and Doyle in defence Comerford, Foley and Robinson in midfield while Dillon led the line and played the captains role by his example. While Jay Connell was man of the match recovering well from an early setback and scoring a vital goal and his all round performance was excellent. Best for Naas were Higgins in goals, Ormodeso and Olanape in midfield and Faherty up front.




Ballycane Celtic FC 0 Newbridge Hotspurs FC 3


Hotspurs were looking to continue their recent run of good form on a fine and warm Sunday morning in Naas. The game started slowly with both teams not having any decent early chances. The first chance fell to Sean Higgins when on the seventh minute his free kick went over the bar. Two minutes later the first real chance of the game fell to Chris Higgins when his shot from close range was well saved by the Ballycane keeper. On the twelve minute, Sean Higgins went close when his header from a corner was again saved by the Ballycane keeper. Hotspurs got their breakthrough on the eighteenth minute via a devastating counter attack. From a Ballycane set piece, Tomas Hennessy headed clear, a deft touch by Shane Smith to Greg Kelly led Kelly to clear in midfield, Kelly timed his pass perfectly to Chris Higgins on the right, Higgins took on the defender and just has stepped into the box struck a shot to the bottom corner to make it 1-0. Hotspurs continued to attack, on the twentieth minute, Mikey Murphy went close when his shot from a Hotspurs corner went just wide. On the twenty sixth minute, Tomas Hennessy had a chance but his shot went just over the bar. On the forty second minute, Shane Smith nearly made it 2-0 when his shot from close range went just wide following a Chris Higgins cross. On the forty fifth minute, Chris Higgins headed just over the bar following a Greg Kelly cross. Just before half time, Scott O’Donoghue went agonisingly close when his strike struck the outside of the post. The game went in at half time 1-0.

Ballycane came out in the second with intent and certainly pegged Hotspurs back a bit. That said, Hotspurs nearly got their second of the game when a fantastic Greg Kelly corner was whipped but Shane Smith was unable to get on the end of it. On the 53rd minute, Ballycane were awarded a penalty. The ensuing penalty struck the crossbar. Almost immediately after the penalty, Ballycane were in possession. Tomas Hennessy won possession off the Ballycane midfielder, Chris Higgins made a neat short pass to Mikey Murphy, Murphy made a delicious pass between the lines to Shane Smith, Smith composed himself, rounded the keeper and slotted into an empty net, 2-0 to Hotspurs. On the hour mark Smith again had a chance when his shot from a Robbie Higgins close went wide. Eoin McGrath and Anthony Durney entered proceedings at this point. It wasn’t long before McGrath had the inevitable impact. With fifteen minutes remaining he struck home a header from Greg Kelly corner to make it 3-0. Jeff Haliti, Eoin Phillips and Mikey Rooney also entered the field of play. The lively and energetic Rooney had a trio of chances one after the other on the seventy eight minute that was somehow kept out by the Ballycane keeper and defence. On the 80th minute, Robbie Higgins went close when brilliant link up play on the left saw him in space in the box but his effort was kept out once again by the Ballycane keeper. On the 90th minute, Mikey Murphy got into a great position just inside the box, shot at goal which was blocked but Eoin Phillips followed up and his shot went just over the bar. Best for the cane were Wayne bubba Doyle, Eoin Archibald, Robert Heavey and Noone in the middle. Man of the match Wayne Doyle.




Arlington FC 1 Clane United FC 0


Clane were the visitors to Castle Park this morning in very hot conditions, Arlington started the brightest and created good opportunities through Ceilum Maher and Shane Nealon early on .

The home side broke the deadlock after fifteen minutes when a wonderful delivery from Jake Nicholl found the head of Craig Fleet to power his header home from close range. Arlington pushed for a second and thought they got it only for Ceilum Maher to be judged to be offside following good work from Olu Solanke and Iain Higgins, Clane played some good football down their left and almost got back on level terms on the stroke of half time but their striker blazed over from twelve yards .It was 1-0 to the home side at the break. Arlington came out quickly just after half time and tried to get the second goal but found the visitors to be holding firm in defence. Clane had a great opportunity to draw level when good play down their left lead to them hitting the frame of the goal. Arlington held firm at the back and had some good opportunities to kill the game off but the second goal just wouldn't come. Best for the visitors were Dean Comiskey and Cathal Geoghegan.


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