Kildare Town AFC 0 Kilcullen AFC 2
Kildare and Kilcullen served up a very entertaining ninety minutes for the large crowd that came out to Kildare on Saturday evening.
Kilcullen started very well, looking solid at the back and playing some good possession football and looking dangerous when they got the ball wide to Mark Wolfe and Nathan O’Reilly but the final finish was missing. Indeed Kildare almost took the lead after twenty five minutes when a floated cross from the left found the feet of the Kildare 11 who had snuck in at the back post but his effort was well blocked by Steven Doyle in the Kilcullen goal.
Kilcullen were the dominant side but could not unlock the young Kildare backline thanks in no small way to the solid number 5 who battled relentlessly throughout the ninety minutes.
O’Reilly almost put Kilcullen ahead in the fortieth minute when he got free behind the defensive line but his deft lob bounced off the crossbar and away to safety.
Just when it looked like the teams would go into the break level Kilcullen captain, Daragh Kelly hit a perfect pass up the wing to Wolfe who looked up and hit a perfect cross to the back post where Paul Clifford arrived and hit a first time shot off the post and into the net 1-0
The second half continued much as the first with Kilcullen having most of the ball but Kildare looking dangerous on the break .
Ten minutes into the half the two wingers combined to double Kilcullen’s lead. Nathan O’Reilly beat his man for pass and delivered a perfect cross to the penalty spot where Mark Wolfe rose highest and thumped home an unstoppable header. 2-0
Five minutes later Kilcullen almost got a third when Keith Scanlon’s brilliant shot from distance crashed off the crossbar.
Kilcullen were reduced to 1ten men with twenty five minutes to play and Kildare Town upped their efforts and thought they had got themselves back into the game only for the ref to call an offside.
The game was very open from that point, Shane Bennett and Mark Wolfe both hit the crossbar with the keeper beaten and on another night with a bit more luck Dean O’Toole’s hard running would have been rewarded with a goal.
Kilcullen emptied the bench to add some energy as both teams tired, with the returning Rob Lee almost marking his first game back with a goal but the Kildare custodian did well to tip his stinging drive around the post.
Both keepers made some vital saves in the last ten minutes as the game finished 2-0 to the visitors. For Kilcullen the Scanlons, Coleman and Kelly were excellent at the back while further forward Kerins,Clifford and Murphy put in immense effort while the two wingers Wolfe and O’Reilly were a constant menace. Best for Kildare were 5,7 and 6
Coill Dubh AFC 1 Clane United FC 2
Clane started very brightly in this local derby and nearly took the lead in the first minute when Cathal Geoghan played Dean Comiskey through only to be denied by the Coil Dubh keeper Luke Anderson who was quick off his line to make the save . The away side went ahead on the fifth minute as the same duo combined . Geoghegan down the left slid the ball across the box for Comiskey to convert. Clane on top looked to increase their lead kept the pressure up as Sean Connolly converted one but was ruled offside . Connolly moments later went close but once again the coil Dubh keeper Anderson was very alert off his line to make a top save with his feet . Coil Dubh however looked a threat on the break as Dylan Hannon forced a smart save from John ball. The visitors led 1-0 at the break.
The second half the game was turned on it’s head as the home side came out very strong and put Clane on the back foot. Clane who made 2 substitutes bringing on Eoghan Maguire and Sean Harnett to freshen things up combined to make it 2 nil as Maguire s shot was parried out and the alert Harnett was first to react to finish it off . Coill Dubh introduced Joe Kenny, Conor Comiskey and Aeneas Murphy coming on for Billy McNamee, Joe Bowers and Craig Lenehan to inject some pace with fresh legs. With 17 mins left on the clock they pulled one back through a expertly taken free kick from Ryan Murran. Clane nearly restored their two goal advantage as a Geoghegan half volley from twenty five yards out looked destined for the top corner and forced a top class save . Clane hanging on in the last ten mins as to their credit Coill Dubh were pouring on the pressure. Firstly ball pulled off a brilliant double save to deny Hannon . Coil Dubh then had the ball in the Clane net but what looked a tight call was judged to be offside. In the dying moments Brady unleashed a rocket from thirty yards that crashed against the bar . In a real game off two half’s Clane came away with the three points. Best for the winners were killian Patchell, Geoghegan, Comiskey and both keepers can be proud of their performances in a lively game .
SPWFC 0 Kilcock Celtic FC 3
SPWFC will be wondering what they have to do to chalk up their second victory of the season. In a game they dominated from start to finish their luck deserted them in front of goal. Their first chance came after ten minutes through Sheldon Matans and soon after Danny Callan was unlucky to see his effort just wide of the post. Midway through the half Stephen Millane’s cross to Sean Carter was intercepted which would have resulted in a certain goal. They found themselves trailing 1-0 at the break through a good goal from the visitors. Kilcock added two quick goals in the second half despite the best efforts of substitutes Grant Courtney, Sean Gallagher and Ciaran Kavanagh. Best on disappointing day Sean Carter, Jamie Headon and Marvin Mbala.
Ballycane Celtic FC 1 Clonmullion AFC 4
The visitors started well and should have gone ahead on the eight minute after Michael Lawless picked out Cody Mulhall who's first time flicked pass was met by the head of Nathan Robinson but his effort flashed over the bar. A minute later Timmy Doyle floated a lovely free kick to Mulhall at the back post but he volleyed over. Clonmullion continued to dominate and Robinson was again involved as he put Lee Foley down the right flank and he beat full back Craig Byrne and pulled a great ball back to Dean O'Sullivan Owens who failed to hit the target. Foley then went close himself when he got on the end of a Mulhall corner but fired just wide. With twenty minutes gone all the pressure paid off as Mulhall beat three players down the right wing before crossing right footed to Owens who's chested effort but was saved brilliantly by Kevin McDonald but the ball fell to Dean Fennessy who made no mistake from six yards out.
McDonald again came to Ballycane's rescue after a Jay Connell throw in found Foley and a great run and cross picked out Jack Dooley to shoot but the keeper was equal to it. On the half hour mark centre half Doyle changed the point of attack by setting Johhny Fennell away down the left and his pass found Owens who smashed a right footed effort goalwards but again McDonald saved. With ten minutes left in the first half The Mull got the second they deserved when Dooley was brought down in the box by Princewill Ogiegor and Mulhall stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way. The home side had chances through Dan Whittaker and Callum O Reilly.
With only a minute gone in the second half Fennessy should have added a third when he rounded the keeper and with the goal gaping hit the outside of the post after great approach play by Doyle and Mulhall. Ballycane had an effort on target when Kevin Higgins hit a long free kick over the top and Johnathan Sullivan got on the end of it but Lawless dealt with it comfortably. Then with fifty six minutes gone came the move of the game when the outstanding Joe Brennan carried the ball out of defence and slid a lovely ball to substitute Lee Day who's pinpoint cross picked out Foley but McDonald was again in the right place. Ten minute later the ever dangerous Robinson and Mulhall played a lovely one two on the edge of the box with the latter making it 3 nil. With twenty minutes left the visitors put the result beyond any doubt when Robinson played a delicious one two with sub Danny Thompson and the former fired home from close range. To Ballycane's credit they never stopped playing and a free kick from Craig Byrne picked out Ross Hazzard who headed home past sub keeper Nathan Germaine. The same combination came close to adding a second when Byrne flashed a free kick across the box but this time Hazzard just failed to connect. With 5 minutes left Clonmullion were awarded a second penalty after a foul on Robinson but stand-in keeper Higgins who went between the posts for the injured McDonald denied Mulhall his hat trick from the spot. Best for Clonmullion were Doyle and Connell, Robinson and Fennessy in midfield, Mulhall up top while young Joe Brennan was outstanding at centre half both in the air and on the deck. Best for Ballycane were the brilliant McDonald in goals, Ross Hazzard, Leon Doyle, Mick Doheny and Kevin Higgins.
Rathangan AFC 2 Suncroft AFC 0
Suncroft's poor recent record against Rathangan continued with a 2 nil defeat on Sunday morning in Rathangan. The conditions were excellent for football with Rathangan's pitch in great condition and the morning rainfall making for a slick surface. Both teams took full advantage of the conditions to play out a very entertaining game with some high quality football on display. The away side had the game's first real opening in the 10th minute when the ball was played into the path of Dylan Byrne who found himself one on one but the Rathangan keeper made an excellent save low to his left. Dylan Connolly was next to test the Rathangan 'keeper but his well struck free-kick was also well saved. Suncroft were enjoying the lion's share of possession throughout the first half with Craig Durney especially effective in midfield. Against the run of play, it was the home side who managed to open the scoring in the 35th minute. Josh Lee was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area with the resulting penalty being the fifth one awarded against Suncroft this season so far. Rathangan’s Lee Moore made no mistake from the spot, calmy slotting the ball into the bottom corner to give his side the half time lead.
In the second half Rathangan began to show why they are one of the favourites to win the senior league this season. With Iain Doyle and Ross Lyons getting to grips with the Suncroft midfield, possession was much more evenly distributed in the second period. Despite some excellent football from both sides, goal chances were few and far between. Niall Costigan had Suncroft's best chance for the equalising goal when he cut in from the right hand side but saw his left footed effort go agonisingly just past the post. Rathangan almost doubled their lead when an Aaron Doyle effort from just inside the area was well saved by Colin Farrell in the 'Croft goal. The home side did get the goal that would seal the three points in the seventy fifth minute, a free-kick from Iain Doyle evaded the Suncroft defence and was stabbed home at the back post by Lee Moore. The away side pressed hard to get the goal that would get them back into the game but the experienced Rathangan defence stood firm and stopped any clear cut opportunities from being created. Rathangan will be very happy to pick up all three points in a very close fought encounter
The best performers for Suncroft on the day were Craig Durney, Gary Scully, Paddy Flood and Josh Lee. Despite the recent poor run of results this new look youthful Suncroft side are showing all the signs of getting to grips with the demands of Kildare senior league football. Best for the winners were Lee Moore, Ross Lyons, Iain Doyle and man of the match Dillon Broderick.