Senior Cup Action !
Coill Dubh AFC 0 Clane United FC 3
A local derby as Clane United were the visitors to Cusack Park on Friday evening in the preliminary round of the Senior Division Cup. The initial aerial battle in the first quarter took place in midfield, with the first real chance falling to Coill Dubh’s Dylan Hannon. Unfortunately, he failed to capitalise on a chance where he was through on goal, missing what was a big moment in the first half.
In the 23rd minute, the Dubh’s would pay dearly when a scuffed clearance resulted in conceding a foul and free kick 20 yards out. The resulting shot was well saved by Luke Anderson, but he spilled the ball to the onrushing Stephen Geoghegan, who powered it home. Clane looked dangerous in the final third, with Maguire and Comiskey making great intelligent runs. Clane went 2-0 up when Dean Comiskey found himself free at the back post. Clane headed went into half time with a two goal advantage.
In the second half, Coill Dubh were a much-improved side. They had two further golden opportunities through Billy McNamee and Dylan Hannon. But John Ball made two good saves to keep the score at 2-0. The Dubh’s continued to press for a goal to get them into the match, however after losing possession in central midfield leading to a quick Clane United counterattack. Goalkeeper Luke Anderson made a good block in a one v one but the rebound fell to Clane’s top striker Owen Maguire who appeared to be in an offside position. Maguire made no mistake and the game was over as a contest.
The Dubh’s will no doubt rue their missed chances but will be heartened by the improvement in performances over the last few weeks. They will hope to bring the same commitment into the upcoming league matches. Clane had fine performances from Killian Patchell and Geoghegan in midfield, Mark Kelly in defence, and Maguire and Comiskey in attack, Stephen Dunne and James Ralph. As for the Dubh’s, Aeneas Murphy returning from injury, Dan Small and the man of the match was Jack O'Brien.
Clonmullion FC 2 Newbridge Hotspurs FC 1
The match between both these sides earlier in the season produced a highly entertaining 2-2 draw, this game was expected to be no different but there was an added bite to this one, a place in the next round of the senior cup.
The game itself was a rather tense affair with both sides not creating many clear cut chances early on. Hotspurs first chance arrived on the 15th minute when Anthony Durney shot from distance which went just over the bar. On the 24th minute, Scott O’Connor whipped in a fantastic cross which was narrowly missed by Scott O’Donoghue, had he connected, it was almost certainly a goal. At the other end, Clonmullion did have a couple of early chances but the Hotspurs defence dealt with the threats well. On the 30th minute, Clonmullion took the lead with a well worked and well taken goal following good play on the left-hand side, Hotspurs will be disappointed having defended ever so well. Hotspurs reacted well to going 1-0 down, on the 32nd minute, Scott O’Donoghue’s shot from 25 yards was well saved by the Clonmullion keeper. On the 36th minute, an Eoin McGrath shot from just outside the box rattled the crossbar with claims from Hotspurs that it had crossed the line discounted by the officials. On the 37th minute, Hotspurs got their equaliser. It was Eoin Walsh who won possession in midfield, made a pass to Eoin McGrath, McGrath played a neat pass to Scott O’Donoghue, O’Donoghue then took a touch and played a fine through ball to Anthony Durney who slotted past the keeper from 15 yards out, a well worked team goal. The game went in at half time 1-1.
The second half started much the same way as the first half with the tension building throughout. There were little in the way of clear cut chances early on in the half. On the 58th minute, Mikey Murphy delivered a fantastic cross where Eoin McGrath connected with the ball but it went wide. On the 71st minute, Mikey Murphy volleyed at goal from 30 or so yards but it went just wide. The following ten minutes or so saw Clonmullion up the tempo, they had a barrage of corners and free kicks but all efforts were excellently dealt with by the Hotspurs midfield and defence. On the 85th minute, Eoin McGrath had a fantastic chance but his shot was well saved by the Clonmullion keeper. Almost immediately, Clonmullion went on the attack and despite a few defensive blocks, Clonmullion were awarded a penalty following a foul. The Clonmullion penalty taker stood up and slotted home but Sean Higgins was unlucky not to keep it out having got two hands to it, 2-1 to Clonmullion. The game ended 2-1 to Clonmullion. Best for Hotspurs were Anthony Durney, Scott O’Donoghue , Eoin McGrath and Hotspurs man of the match Scott O’Connor
League Action !
Arlington FC 4 Suncroft AFC 4
Suncroft travelled to Portarlington on Sunday morning and will be happy enough to have come away with a share of the spoils after coming back from 3-1 and 4-2 down during the game. The home side took an early lead when a quick free-kick caught the Suncroft defence napping and the Arlington striker was clean through on goal and finished well into the bottom corner. Suncroft responded soon after when Murt Brennan, returning from long injury layoff, played a Dylan Connolly through on goal and Connolly lifted the ball over the on-rushing 'keeper to grab the equaliser. Arlington struck again to make it 2-1 on the 30 minute mark, a long through ball picking out the Arlington right winger cutting inside and he made no mistake from 14 yards out. The home side doubled their advantage only moments later, a mix up in the 'Croft defence allowed the Arlington striker to grab his second of the game from close range. The away side grabbed a confidence boosting goal just on the stroke of half-time, Kian McGowan finding Ben Kinsella with a lofted cross from the left and Kinsella fired home at the back post.
The high tempo and swirling winds were making it very difficult for defenders on the day, as the scoreline suggests. Both teams were finding space in and around the goal areas to get shots off far too frequently for either manager to be happy but spectators were pleased with the constant goalmouth action. The home side struck first in the second half making it 4-2 with an hour played. A low cross from the right hand side somehow evaded the 'Croft defenders and allowed the Arlington striker to grab his hat-trick with a neat finish from near the penalty spot. Suncroft responded with a personnel shift that saw Cathal Mahon move from midfield into central defence and the energetic Stevie Coyne move into a central midfield role with Dylan Connolly pushed into the attack. The changes paid dividends quickly as Mahon's long through ball set Connolly away 1v1 and he coolly slotted home with his left foot to make it 4-3 with 70 mins played. Connolly went on to grab his own hat-trick on the 80 minute mark, Coyne playing the ball into his feet on the edge of the area, a sharp turn and low finish tied the game up at 4-4. Both sides had opportunities to snatch a late winner, Both McGowan and Connolly coming close with headed effort while stand-in 'keeper for the 'Croft Shane Hanly made an excellent save from a powerful long range effort. Suncroft's man of the match goes to Hat-trick here Connolly but not far behind was the excellent Cathal Mahon who helped shore up the 'Croft defence in the last half hour. The returning Murt Brennan and reliable Shane Hanly were also both in top form throughout.