Senior Cup action !
Clane United FC 3 Naas United FC 0
Naas United travelled to their neighbours Clane United on Friday night in a hotly anticipated senior cup semi final. The game started with Naas out of the blocks fast and after only five minutes a stinging volley from Naas midfielder Brian Nolan was tipped over the bar by home keeper Adam Mazur. The visitors were on top now and a succession of corners from Nolan forced the clane defence to defend expertly .Naas forced a number of good chances thereafter and should have taken the lead but Stephen French fired over the bar with the goal at his mercy after good work from Victor Oladapo.
From virtually Clane’s first attack they were to take the lead with a break down the left and Eoghan Maguire put a super ball across the goal to be tapped home by Clane’s centre forward Cathal Geoghegan to put the home side 1-0 up. Naas responded very well to the setback and only they will know how they didn't Equalize with Nolan ,French and Matthew Drewitt all coming close .Five minutes before the break another Brian Nolan corner landed on Rox Higgins he was challenged for the ball but their appeals for a penalty were dismissed. Naas’s Stephen French went close again in the dying seconds of the half and there was no one there for Naas to tap into an empty net .The halftime score remained 1-0 to Clane .
On the restart Naas were dealt a big blow as the influential Brian Nolan had to retire through injury and this seemed to disrupt Naas midfield with Clane taking full advantage with a great cross coming through from Eoghan Maguire for James Ralph to head home Clane’s second past the stranded Keith Higgins in the visiting goal to leave them 2-0 up. Clane were well on top now and struck a third soon when Dean Comiskey made a superb run through midfield and his effort was spilled by Higgins and the youthful James Ralph was on hand to tap in his second and his side’s third. .Naas to their credit never gave up but chance after chance for French and Samson Omoteso were squandered in the end Clane ran out deserving winners although the scoreline was harsh on the visitors. Best for the winners were James Ralph, play maker Eoghan Maguire, Killian Patchell, Cathal Geoghegan and Gavin O Dwyer. While for Naas Brian Nolan, Victor Oladapo and Rox Higgins at the back impressed.
Arlington FC 1 Clonmullion AFC 3
For the second Sunday in a row Clonmullion made the short journey across the Laois border to take on Arlington. This time in the Senior Cup semi final. As usual it was a tight competitive affair played out in miserable persistent rain. The visitors went close on five minutes when Benny Lawlor was forced away from the danger area by Stephen Shields but he rolled the ball back to Lee Foley whose first time cross was cleverly dummied by Chris Chanders for Jody Dillon whose half volley crashed back off the post with keeper Evan Gratton beaten all ends up. Five minutes later the home side could have scored when Robbie McNeil slid a lovely ball through the Clonmullion defence for Shane Nealon but he didn't connect cleanly with the ball and keeper Will Kenny gathered easily. On the quarter hour mark Timmy Doyle and Lee Day combined beautifully down the left hand side for Day to cross to the back post where Chanders was lurking but Grattan got the merest of finger tips to it to deflect it out for a corner. With twenty five minutes on the clock Garry Comerford was fouled thirty yards from goals and he picked himself up to hit the free kick which was parried out for another corner by Grattan. This time Comerford whipped in a great ball which Dillon rose highest to head home to put his side 1 up.
Clonmullion continued to dominate possession and Day set Johnny Fennell away down the left and his cross was headed clear by Jason Conlan where it fell to the in rushing Comerford who's right footed effort flew just over the bar.
The second half continued in the same way and Comerford again went close on fifty minutes with a curling free kick which clipped the outside of the post. Dylan Kennedy replaced the injured Fennell and was involved straight away when he back flicked the ball to Comerford who powered past two defenders before passing to Lawlor who shot low to the keeper's right to make it 2 nil. Kennedy himself went close with twenty five minutes left when he struck a great free kick over the wall but Gratton tipped the ball to safety. Arlington almost pulled one back with a free kick of their own by Nealon and as Kenny punched clear Shields was first to react but could only lift his effort over the bar from ten yards out. Day and Comerford were finding loads of space in the middle of the park and the latter chipped a delightful ball over the advancing home defence Chanders ran on to it and tipped it past keeper Grattan but it just ran away from him and over the end line. With five minutes remaining Arlington pulled one back when Stephen Flanagan put Nealon in behind the defence and he made no mistake from close range. However The Mull got a third almost immediately when that man Comerford again won the ball back in the middle of the park and slid Dillon in and the striker still had a lot to do but he kept his cool to slot low to the keeper's right to wrap up another Cup Final slot for the reigning champions. Best for Arlington were keeper Grattan, defenders Conlan and Flanagan and Nealon up top. Best for Clonmullion were young keeper Kenny who's distribution was impressive in difficult conditions, Lee Foley, Michael Walsh and Jay Connell at the back, Lee Day in midfield and Dillon and Chanders up front and Dylan Kennedy making a huge impact off the bench. The man of the match with an outstanding all round display of tackling and passing and leadership was Garry Comerford.
League Shield Action !
Newbridge Rovers FC 2 Coill Dubh AFC 3
Goals from veteran Barry Noone, Oisin Lawlor and the returning Sean MacMahon were enough to see Coill Dubh progress into the next round of the KDFL Shield. A spirited Newbridge Rovers put up a tough fight and struck with two goals in injury time to make the result a little more respectable.