KDFL SENIOR DIVISION FOCUS
Coill Dubh AFC 1 3 Suncroft AFC
This game pitted two great rivals against each other. Suncroft were the quickest out of the blocks as they dominated the early exchanges over a depleted Coill Dubh side. Warning signs were apparent as early as the third minute with Eoin Doyle probing the Dubh’s defence and sending an effort just wide of the post. Croft were on top, and on the seventh minute a free kick just outside the box was well saved by Dubh’s keeper Luke Anderson. Croft continued their dominance and the twenty first minute Luke Anderson was called on again, saving a well struck Stevie Coyne effort.
Completely against the run of play the Dubh’s took the lead. Great build up play from the back saw Jack O’Brien make a great run through the Croft defence. O’Brien was able to find Dylan Hannon just outside the six-yard box who unselfishly squared the ball for Billy McNamee who tapped it home leaving Croft keep Kevin McDonald with no chance.
At this stage the Dubh’s were creating some good phases of play, in the twenty eight minute Barry Noone found himself one and one with keeper, McDonald was again to the rescue with another excellent save for Suncroft. Suncroft would be level two minutes later when their corner was met by Ben Kinsella who rose well above the Dubh’s defence and headed it past Anderson.
The Dubh’s pressed for an opening and were rewarded on the thirty seventh minute when a great ball from Ryan Murran put Jack O’Brien through on goal only for him to fluff his lines and chip it straight towards McDonald in goal. A golden opportunity missed. The Croft also had a chance on the fortieth minute but were unable to convert and sent the effort just wide of the post.
As with the first half, Suncroft dominated the opening exchanges and exerted tremendous pressure on the Dubh’s defence. Luke Anderson was in fine form and kept the Dubh’s in the game making a superb double save in the fifty eight minute. Anderson would be called into action again ten minute later when he superbly tipped a long range Suncroft effort over the bar. However, the Croft’s pressure finally paid off and they took the lead on the sixty eight minute when Ben Kinsella’s effort left Luke Anderson helpless. Another fine save from Anderson with three minutes reaining on the clock kept the Dubh’s in the hunt for a point, however mere seconds later Donacha Kearney evaded a tired Dubh’s defence and neatly finished to make it 1 – 3 Suncroft. Anderson was called on again in the ninety first minute to make an outstanding save and limit the damage.
Suncroft were full value for their victory and on another night could have scored many more but for the heroics of Coill Dubh’s keeper Luke Anderson
There were many fine performances for Suncroft this afternoon, in particular Eoin Doyle, Kevin Sheedy, Connolly, Kinsella and their man of the match was Stevie Coyne. A match to forget for many of the Dubh’s squad who were not at the races for large spells of the game. Jack O’Brien will surely be pleased with his efforts today. Luke Anderson’s performance in goal as one of the best performance witnessed in Cusack Park for many a years, some outstanding saves to keep the Dubh’s in the game today and the well deserved Coill Dubh Man of Match.
A disappointing result for Coill Dubh, they will need to take this on the chin and set their focus on shoring up their defence for Friday night’s encounter with Naas United.
Arlington FC 0 2 Naas United FC
Naas united travelled to Arlington FC on Sunday morning and credit to the hosts for the superb condition of their pitch. Naas started like a house on fire and within just two minutes the visiting side took the lead when Ritchie French set up his brother Stephen French to score a superb diving header The game was only fifteen minutes old when Stephen French struck again with a superb right foot volley. Arlington then grew into the game the defence line of, Higgins brothers Keith and John Paul ably assisted by Matthew Drewitt and Jamie Dunne were all on their game and very difficult to get through .The second half was more pressure from Naas and the Arlington goalkeeper did very well to deny Adam Kavanagh and Daragh Faherty. Best for Naas were Stephen French ,the Higgins brothers Mattie Drewitt and man of the match Jamie Dunne .
Clane United FC 2 2 Rathangan AFC
It was a share of the spoils for Clane and Rathangan on Sunday morning. Always a great tie between these super football sides and Sunday was no different. Rathangan shaded the early stages with Clane always looking dangerous on the break and it was Clane who edged ahead after twenty minutes when Andy Brogan fired home following good work from Eoghan Maguire. Their joy was short lived however as just one minute later Rathangan were back on level terms when Iain Doyle won a penalty and converted himself to make it 1-1. Five minutes before the break Clane’s James Ralph broke down the right and drove a low ball across the box which was spilled by the visiting keeper and Brogan was on hand to tap home his and his side’s second to put Clane ahead 2-1 going into the break.
The second half wasn't as exciting as the but it came to life with fifteen minutes remaining when Alex Conlan crossed the ball and Arun Doyle volleyed the ball to the back of the net for Rathangan to level matters for the second time. Neither team could get a winner as it finished 2-2 chances had by both teams but a fair result overall. Best for Rathangan were Nathan Cullen, Jim Brennan and Stefan Lawlor. Clane were best served by Eoghan Maguire, Killian Patchell and Sean Connolly.
Ballycane Celtic FC 1 4 Clongorey FC
Clongorey FC got their season back on track on Sunday morning with a comfortable 4-1 over Ballycane Celtic. The visitors hit the ground running early and took the lead inside the opening ten minutes through Shaun Walsh following a sweeping move down the left before doubling their advantage soon after through Leon following fine work by Sheldon Mbala down the right
Sean Casey's side went into cruise control following that and midway through the half increased their cushion further with a sweetly struck free-kick from distance from Tsang. Ballycane upped the ante after the break but it wasn't long before any hopes they had of dragging their way back into contention were dealt a killer blow with a foul on Tsang inside the box paving the way for him to notch a hat-trick with a cooly dispatched penalty. To their credit 'Cane continued to battle gallantly to the end and grabbed a late consolation goal through their impressive young right-winger who beat Adam Doyle at his far post from an acute angle.
Best on the day for the victors were Emmet O'Brien, Igor Santos, Marvin Mbala, Sheldon Mbala and of Man of the Match Tsang.