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KDFL SENIOR LEAGUE FOCUS.



League Action!


Clongorey FC 4 Rathangan AFC 1


Clongorey brought a three-game losing streak to an end on Friday night with 4-1 at home to Rathangan courtesy of a hattrick from Reece McLaughlin and a first half strike from his cousin Leigh Baldwin.

The home side came flying out of the traps with McLaughlin and Baldwin harrying the Rathangan back four and Emmet O'Brien and Jamie Headon setting the tempo in midfield. Both sides had decent half chances early on, but it was Clongorey who hit the front with just over half an hour played when pressing forced a mistake in the Rathangan defence which saw McLaughlin make no mistake in sweeping home the equaliser after finding himself one-on-one with the away netminder. A similar sequence of events brought Clongorey a second just minutes later as Baldwin fired home to give his side a two goal cushion going into the break.


Rathangan upped the ante after the interval but with Marvin Mbala and Gary Hunt sniffing out any danger at the back for the hosts, the Canal Road outfit failed to create any real clear cut chances until the home side failed to clear a corner midway through the half, Joe Breen ball landed into the box off Iain Doyle to Colin Scanlan who tapping the ball into the net. However, Clongorey replied almost immediately with McLaughlin grabbing a brace inside the last fifteen minutes to seal a comfortable and much needed win for the blue and white hoops in what was their first home game in ten weeks as a result of work being done to widen the running track at Old Bog Road. Best for Rathangan were Dan Mulpeter and Iain Doyle


Naas United FC 4 Ballycane Celtic FC 0


Naas United played host to their neighbours Ballycane Celtic FC on a perfectly manicured pitch at Jigginstown on Saturday evening .The home side started very quickly and put the Ballycane defence under pressure right from the start with Jordy Martella , Daragh Faherty and Samson Omoteso all causing problems .Naas midfield of Brian Nolan and Victor Olawale were pulling the strings and forced a number of corners which resulted in the opening goal from Rox Higgins who headed in powerfully from a superb Ritchie French cross, Naas went two up five minutes later through a similar cross from French and Higgins was again on hand to tap the ball home ,the Cane tried their best to counter attack but the scoreline at half time remained 2-0 to United .


Naas started the second half again on the front foot and a swift counter attack saw Brian Nolan play the pass of the match to the always dangerous Faherty who was taken down for a penalty, Rox Higgins duly stepped up to the spot to clinch his hat trick .Naas weren't done yet though and a brilliant move involving Jack Conway and Samson Omoteso saw the latter cross superbly for Daragh Faherty to finish clinically. Naas continued to dominate after that but Herbert in the Cane goal did well to keep the score down .Naas eventually ran out comfortable 4-0 winners and best for Naas was Rox JP Higgins, Jack Conway , Matthew Drewitt, Brian Nolan and man of the match Victor Olawale .Best for Ballycane were Keeper Herbert, Killian Noone and Leon Doyle.


League Cup Action !


Coill Dubh AFC 3 Suncroft AFC 2


Cusack Park was the setting for the latest meeting of this historical, competitive rivalry between Coill Dubh AFC and Suncroft AFC as both sides looked to advance to the next round of the prestigious KDFL Lumsden Cup. A game of two halves. Suncroft travelling short of some vital players due to injury. It was the Dubh’s that started brightest. As early as the fifth minute, a lovely one-two between Ryan Murran and Sean MacMahon allowed Murran to pick up the ball in the Croft penalty box, drive past the defence and unleash a fine drilled shot that found the back of the net, despite the best efforts of Kevin McDonald in the visiting goal. The home side kept up the pressure and a corner taken by Sean MacMahon in the 11th minute was headed just over the goal.

Suncroft finally began to play ball and Dylan Connolly almost grabbed an equaliser with a free-kick from the edge of the area just passing the wrong side of the post. Soon after Stevie Coyne came close next with his powerful effort forced onto the crossbar by the Coill Dubh 'keeper. The home side, who had been looking dangerous from set-pieces during the half, grabbed their second from a corner on the half hour mark when their persistent pressure paid off and they doubled their advantage. Sean MacMahon’s corner found Billy McNamee, whose glancing header gave Kevin McDonald no chance from close range. Suncroft grew into the game and their best spell just before half time, with a well-struck free kick going inches wide of the keeper's left post. Another effort was carried away by Luke Anderson in goal, only to hit the crossbar and then be cleared to safety. The score at halftime was 2-0 to Coill Dubh.

Suncroft were again forced to re-shuffle the team for the second half. Central defender Shane Hanly having to go off injured with young attacker Cian McGowan entering the fray. The second half saw a much more determined Suncroft side though. Midfield trio of Dylan Connolly, Kieron Sheedy and Eamon Doyle were beginning to pull the strings for their side and opportunities began to appear. Cian McGowan forced a good save when his right footed effort from close range was stopped en-route to the bottom corner. Connolly was next to be presented with a chance, after being played through by Ben Kinsella he failed to keep his shot down and fired over the bar. Sheedy, Connolly and Doyle were involved in Suncroft's first goal on the hour mark, Sheedy's through ball finding Connolly whose left footed effort forced another good save from the Coill Dubh 'keeper but Eamon Doyle was on hand to pick up the rebound and keep his composure to score, leaving the minimum between the sides.


Suncroft played some of their best football of the game, dominating most of the exchange and causing problems for the Dubh’s' defence. The heroics of club captain Luke Anderson in goal prevented them from equalising through Ben Kinsella on two separate occasions. Coill Dubh pushed for a third goal, and in the seventieth minute, a superb dipped cross from the left wing by Cian McMahon across the six-yard box narrowly missed an on-rushing Conor Comiskey by inches. Suncroft pressed hard for their equaliser and got their well-earned reward in the eighty third minute when Ryan Leonard's cross from the right was controlled expertly by Connolly and his low right footed effort found the bottom corner of the net. The away side had further chances to put themselves in front, Connolly beat two defenders to make space for the shot but his effort agonisingly cleared the crossbar and Cian McGowan forcing the most impressive of a collection of impressive saves from the Coill Dubh 'keeper. Not for the first time this season, Suncroft's failure to make their chances count cost them in the end. With only four minutess of normal time left to play, Coill Dubh snatched a late winner with a quick break away.

Over the course of the second half the Dubh’s introduced Jack O'Brien, Damien Leeson, Dylan Hannon, and Barry Noone to freshen up a tired Dubh’s midfield. This would prove crucial as a header won by Damien Leeson found Dan Smal, whose delightful pass over the Croft right fullback sent Cian MacMahon into acres of space on the left wing. MacMahon’s delivery found Dylan Hannon, who laid it off superbly to Barry Noone who cooly slotted home to put Coill Dubh 3-2 up.


Coill Dubh held on for a hard-fought win against some fine performances from Suncroft. The Dubh’s players and management alike will be delighted with the performance and result. Into the hat for the second-round draw, standout performances were seen from Jason Wyse, Cian MacMahon, and Dan Small. The latter’s battling display in midfield was his best of the season so far. Ryan Murran was back to his very best as a playmaker and got himself on the scoresheet. Luke Anderson enhanced his reputation as one of the top two keepers in the Senior League with another man of the match display. For Suncroft Dylan Connolly was a constant threat, both Kieran Sheedy and Eamon Doyle worked tirelessly in midfield while using the ball well with Josh Lee and Craig Durney both in top form also



Dunlavin AFC 1 Arlington FC 9


Arlington made the journey to Dunlavin for their first round of The Lumsden Cup Campaign in a late afternoon kick off, missing some regular starting players. From the kick off Arlington started sharp and found themselves 1 up within two minutes when Olu Solanke found Ceilum Maher to finish neatly .

The visitors made it 0-2 after five minutes when good link play between Ceilum Maher and Shane Nealon found Nealon free to smash home the 2nd of the day. With Arlington still pressing on

the third goal of the day came on the ninth minute when a well worked corner from Robbie Mc Neill fell to Olu Solanke who moved the ball smartly to Craig Fleet who finished it well at the back post .

Dunlavin 0 Arlington 3. The fourth goal came after the twenty first minute when Robbie Mc Neill again played Olu Solanke in to score his second of the game. Arlington had 2 or 3 good chances to increase their advantage but the Dunlavin keeper done well to keep the score at 0-4 going into the break.


Arlington started the second half slowly but on fifty eight minute Ceilum Maher got his second after good work from Collins Ugochukwu and Chris Hoskins in the middle of the park 0-5 Arlington.

Maher was again involved on the hour when he slotted the ball into the path of Solanke who guided the ball into the bottom corner , 0-6 Arlington. Eight minutes later Dunlavin got a goal after a lapse in concentration at the back which allowed Dunlavin's number 2 to get a goal back. Arlington immediately responded and from the tip off and weaved their way up the pitch with Robbie Mc Neill feeding Nealon to get his second and his sixth in two games to make it 7-1. The visitors got their eight when the impressive Solanke broke the offside trap to bury the ball for his hat-trick. The final goal of the game came on the 81st minute when Shane Nealon went flying down the left and his cross come shot was followed in by the ever green Joe Gorman at the back post to finish smartly, Best for Arlington were Phil o Kane, Olu Solanke , Robbie Mc Neill, Shane Nealon, Ceilum Maher and a MOTM performance from Collins Ugochukwu.










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