KDFL SENIOR LEAGUE FOCUS
SUNCROFT AFC 2 COILL DUBH AFC 2
A share of the spoils was a fair result in this KDFL Senior League midtable clash between Suncroft AFC and Coill Dubh AFC. The home side’s search for that elusive first home win continues for another week while Coill Dubh had their tails up following their 4-1 mid week victory over Kilcock Celtic FC. The Croft side got the better of the early exchanges and scored the game's first goal with thirteen minutes played. Craig Durney's through ball finding Niall Costigan who coolly slotted the ball past the Coill Dubh 'keeper Luke Anderson for his first senior goal. Suncroft almost doubled their lead moments later when a Kieron Sheedy pass was latched onto by Durney who, despite beating his marker and the goalkeeper, lost his footing at the crucial moment and could only fire over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Ten minutes later Coill Dubh then equalised shortly after with a Suncroft player handling from a Sean MacMahon cross which the referee blew for a penalty, Ryan Murran dispatched well making it 1-1.
The home side regained their one goal advantage shortly after, Dylan Connolly's free-kick from 25 yards was parried into the path of the on-rushing Niall Costigan who scored his and Suncroft second goal of the day.
The challenge presented to Coill Dubh was made tougher late in the first half when they lost their right full Joe Kenny to a red card, picking up a second yellow for a high tackle on Josh Lee having picked up his first card in the opening minutes for a late challenge on Costigan. The visitors then soaked up the pressure for the remaining minutes of the half with no real openings for either side to leave the home side going in at the half a goal to the good.
On the resumption Suncroft failed to make their numerical advantage count. Despite the generally sloppy play from the home side, there were some opportunities to get the third goal that likely would have put the tie to bed, Ben Kinsella having his shot from right side of the area partially saved and then cleared off the line, Costigan firing wide from close range after getting on the end of a whipped Cathal Mahon cross and Costigan again seeing his well struck volley brilliantly tipped onto the post by the Coill Dubh 'keeper. As the half wore on, the 10 men of Coill Dubh grew in confidence that they could rescue something from the game. Veteran Noel Byrne having come on early in the half and helping shore up their midfield, they forced a number of corners and free-kicks allowing them to pile bodies into the Suncroft box. The away side got the equaliser that their efforts deserved with five minutes to play, more sloppy play in possession from the home side seeing them lose possession in their own half and when the ball was slipped through to Noel Byrne 'Croft 'keeper Colin Farrell mistimed his challenge for the ball resulting in second penalty for Coill Dubh. The second penalty was converted as comfortably as the first by Ryan Murran making it 2-2 with only minutes left to play. Some late pressure from Suncroft didn't amount to any goal chances with Suncroft drawing their second home game in a row 2-2 after conceding late equalisers.
A good result for our First Team lads after going down to 10 men early on away to Suncroft which is never an easy game. Great effort from everyone in the coill dubh colours to rescue the point working tirelessly until the end. Standout performances from Luke Anderson making some fantastic saves at important times, Billy McNamee at the Back and Sean Macmahon a constant threat.
Suncroft had their strongest performers on the day in man of the match Costigan, the hard working midfield pair of Gary Lowe and Craig Durney with another solid performance from full back Josh Lee. The 'Croft will be hoping to kick start their home form when they face Kilcullen at the Community Grounds next Friday night.
Kilcock Celtic 0 Athy Town AFC 3
The Town continued their good run left leaving Bawnogues with the three points in the bag after a comprehensive win on the all weather pitch in fine but blustery conditions.
The visitors, who were missing five of the usual starting eleven, were in control from the off and always looked like the first team to score, this came in the nineteenth minute when a lovely through ball by veteran, Brendan Curtis found Stephen French in the box, a clumsy challenge on French saw the Athy man tumble and a penalty was awarded to the men from the South, Chris Chanders duly sent the keeper the wrong way to put Athy one níl up. Athy almost went two up when veteran Curtis and young French combined to put in David Bríde only for the kilcock keeper to make an excellent save.The Barrow men went two up in the 59th minute when Bríde headed powerfully home from a Chanders cross after Great work again by Stephen French down the right. Athy sealed the game in the seventy eight minute when Bríde again finished with a low drive from 20 yrds. Best for an impressive Athy side were Lee Kavanagh, Stephen French, Oisín Brown, David Bríde and at the back Mark Boland.
SPWFC 0 Clane United FC 2
Clane started brightly on the front foot and had few early chances to take the lead firstly through two gilt edged opportunities through Stephen Dunne and dean commisky forcing smart saves from Liam Brady. Clane edged ahead on the half hour mark as Eoghan Maguire got loose down the left and a pinpoint cross was headed home from Andy Brogan . Brogan went close to adding a second minutes later as his effort trickled wide . The home side finished the half strong as emmet Martin was forced into two saves from Danny Callan one from a direct free leaving the visitors going in at the break 1-0 up.
The visitors started the second half on top again as Brogan hit the post and also fired over from close range . Clane unable to close the game out missing opportunities and nearly paid the price as Emmet Martin pulled off a top save from a Danny Callan free kick destined for the top corner . Clane finally got their second mid way through the second half as a Dean Commisky cross was deflected into the home side s net for an own goal . Clane saw out the game in a comfortable manner while looking to add more goals . Best for the winners was Cathal Geoghan in midfield
Rathangan AFC 2 Naas United FC 1
Rathangan and Naas United played out a very entertaining game at Canal road with the home side coming out 2-1 victors on the day for an important three points. The home side took the lead on the ninth minute, a superb pass by Dan Mulpeter fed Alex Conlan who slotted the ball to the right bottom hand corner of Naas United’s stand in keeper Eoin Giblin’s net. Regular keeper Keith Higgins becoming a father in the early hours of the morning. Rathangan had to defend well with Naas having chances for Dean Bowers, Abdul Karim and Adam Colton. Bowers had the ball in the net for 1-1 on the 25th minute but it was ruled offside. However despite their good run it was the home side who doubled their advantage four minutes later when Conlan again linked well with Sam O'Loughlin who caught the keeper Giblin off guard to slot a low ball to make it 2-0. Just into injury time Naas pulled one back with a brilliant header from Ometeso from Nolans free kick to narrow the gap just before the break.
The second half was all to play for with both teams pilling on the pressure it was the Naas keeper Giblin who made some brilliant save to deny Rathangan to go further ahead. Rathangan defence cleared some great ball to make sure Naas wasn't going to get anything out of this game. It was fair to say the home side did enough to come away with all 3 points as it finished again the home side winning Best for Rathangan: Iain Doyle, Dan Mulpeter and Alex Conlan. Naas were best served by Jamie Dunne at left back, an outstanding performance. Ver Nolan in midfield and Eoin Giblen in goal with 2 great saves and Ometeso’s work rate was yet again excellent.
Clonmullion AFC 3 Kildare Town AFC 3
Clonmullion preserved their four year unbeaten home run, but only just against a tough resilient Kildare Town side. The home side were very quick out of the blocks and great combination play between Cody Mulhall and Dean Owens saw the latter hit the inside of the post after just two minutes. Almost directly from the kick out Owens this time found the target with a header from a Jack Dooley cross to make it 1 nil. 5 minutes later Owens put the home side two up when he combined beautifully again with Mulhall and slid the ball left footed past keeper A.J. Enright. In the tenth minute.
Kildare pulled one back when Jamie O'Callaghan floated a ball into the box and after a defensive mix up Adam Gilligan rose unopposed to head home. Mulhall then went close to making it 3 1 with an audacious chip from 30 yards out only to see his effort clip the top of the crossbar. With twenty minutes gone Clonmullion were again caught cold from a set piece when a Gareth Sage free kick was headed down by Gilligan and Michael Lawless made a great save to deny him. five minutes later Sage himself got on the end of a long free kick from the back by Conor Walsh and again Lawless came to his side's rescue. The keeper almost became provider when he picked out Mulhall with a long throw out and a deft flick into the path of Owens saw the striker fire just wide.
Kildare finished the half with a glorious chance when a Walsh clearance looped over the home defence and Gilligan went around Lawless but Johnny Fennell got back just in time to clear the danger. In the 47th minute a Nathan Robinson corner was headed goalwards by Shane Foley but Walsh cleared his effort off the line. With five minutes gone in the second half the visitors drew level when O'Callaghan found substitute Robert Burke who finished low down to the keepers right. They went ahead five minutes later when Clonmullion were again caught cold from a free kick from Adam Christie who picked out Gilligan again who headed home in the middle of the goals. The home side piled on the pressure for an equaliser and Mulhall clipped the crossbar with a superb free kick. Sub Lee Foley then combined with Dean Fennessy down the right and his cross was fired just over by Owens. The equaliser finally came with 10 minutes remaining when the ever dangerous Owens completed his hat trick by intercepting a back pass and slipped the ball low into the net past a despairing Enright. The game ebbed and flowed to the final whistle with neither side able to find a winner. Best for Kildare were Walsh, Gilligan and Sage with keeper Enright solid. For the home side Jay Connell, Jack Dooley, Nathan Robinson were very good while Cody Mulhall and hat trick hero Dean Owens were a constant threat up front.
Kilcullen AFC 6 Ballycane Celtic FC 0
Ballycane were the visitors to Kilcullen on Sunday morning and a little light on numbers they left on the wrong end of the scoreline.
Kilcullen started with authority, playing some good possession football and testing the Ballycane rearguard which held firm until the 10th minute.
Eamon Doyle picked up the ball in midfield and slid a pass through the Ballycane defence to the feet of Nathan O’Reilly who showed good composure to slot the ball past the visitors net minder 1-0
Ballycane improved from that point but their offensive efforts from Jake O'Reilly and Stephen Durney were well defended by the home side.
Kilcullen doubled their lead in the twenty fifth minute when some nice interplay between Mark McGinley, Dean O’Toole and Daragh Kelly resulted in a Kilcullen corner. Kelly delivered a peach of a ball that was headed home by the prolific Colin Scanlon 2-0
Despite some enterprising play from both sides for the remainder of the half neither team managed to trouble the scorekeepers before halftime.
The second half progressed much as the first but both teams were feeling the heat and the pace of the game dropped noticeably.
Kilcullen looked to their bench to inject some energy into the game and the effect was telling with Kilcullen scoring three goals in five minutes. Dylan Aulsberry started the goal rush with a lovely lobbed finish to put Kilcullen 3-0 up. Mark Wolfe then got his first of 3 goals two minutes later when he pounced after Kevin Mcdonnell had made an excellent save from an Aulsberry shot. 4-0. Wolfe was on the scoresheet again 3 minutes later when his free kick from the wide right channel evaded everyone and nestled in the bottom corner 5-0 Both teams finished the game with 10 men due to injuries for both sides. Wolfe rounded of the scoring and completed his hat trick with a lovely individual goal all of his own making Best for the winners were Shane Higgins, Brian Murphy. Hard day for Ballycane with all their injuries they still battling best for the Naas side were Preston, Higgins and Mark Levis.