KDFL SENIOR LEAGUE TEAM FOCUS
Kildare Town AFC 1 Rathangan AFC 6
A very strong Rathangan side proved too strong for the youthful Kildare Town side on Saturday evening. Lee Moore had a hat trick on the night, nineteen minutes into the game and a throw in for Rathangan Sam O'Loughlin to Lee Moore who took his first goal Well in the thirty sixth minute Rathangan had a free just inside Kildare half Iain Doyle took a quick one to Stefan Lawlor who gave a nice back heal to Doyle again who unleashed a shot from just inside their own half.
The keeper had no chance a cracker of a goal to make it 2-0 Rathangan were playing some superb team play and really seemed to be enjoying the game. In the forty second minute Doyle with a beautiful corner to land of Moore again who headered into the net his second and Rathangan’s third. It was an evening for goals with corners again Doyle who played out of his skin in the fifty first minute took a corner and it was Jim Brennan who made no mistake to make it 4-0. Three minutes later Rathangan took their eyes off the ball when Kildare got in and managed to get one back again a few minutes later Kildare could made it two but was denied by the post. In the seventy fifth minute this time it was Ross Lyons to set up Moore to get his hat trick. The leaders then brought on some fresh legs and in the eighty fourth minute Sam Horan got his first senior goal. Great for the young lads to get the opportunity at this level as it finished on the night Rathangan 6 Kildare Town 1
Best for the winners were Lee Moore, Arun Doyle and man of the match had to go to Iain Doyle
Naas United FC 0 Athy Town AFC 1
Naas United cane into this game after 3 victories in a row, so Athy knew they were going to have a job on their hands. The away side almost got the perfect start but No.10 saw his first minute header saved by Keith Higgins. An end to end opening ten minutes saw Naas create two great chances themselves as Abdel Karim and Ometeso went close. Murt Brennan stung the hands off Higgins on twenty minutes with a terrific long range shot. And moments later a brilliant cross from Aaron Dunphy saw Naas create another chance, but unfortunately Abdel Karim failed to connect. Stephen French was the main threat for Athy on their right wing and having had a couple of half chances he was gifted an opportunity to make it 1-0 when Ver Nolan saw a loose pass intercepted by Brennan, who quickly spotted the Caragh native in space and he struck perfectly into the corner leaving Higgins with no chance to put the visitors 1-0 up.
Naas scored five last time out against Ballycane, but no matter what they did today they just didn’t seem to have that killer instinct that they had displayed in their midweek outing. Johnny Finnegan came off the bench after thirty five minutes and Ver Nolan saw his corner strike the crossbar. Naas had another effort cleared off the line too but the half ended 1-0 to Athy. The second half was very scrappy at times as both sides seemed to be matching each other stride for stride. Murt Brennen was excellent for Athy and the Arial power of Mark Boland saw the away defence really hard to break down. Naas were restricted to set pieces or half chances, while Athy saw all their efforts to double the scoreline, defended well by John Paul Higgins and Baba Isaka. If they did get passed they found Keith Higgins too good in goal. Naas had to bring veteran Eoin Giblin off the bench to play as stand in Keeper, when Higgins was given his marching orders for an off the ball incident, and he was never troubled. Athy had a red card themselves late on when Stephen French shown the line for a similar incident. So a game that was played in good spirit ends up seeing two players sent off. Athy will be delighted to come away with three points as Naas have upped their game in recent weeks, and they must now pick themselves up and brush off this defeat when they travel to Clane Utd next Friday evening.
Best for Naas today was Keith Higgins in goal marred by his sending off, his Brother John Paul grew into the game and is starting to get back to form after returning from injury. While Issaka, Drewitt and Dunphy also deserve praise. Best for the winners were Andy Coughlan, Mark Boland and Lee Kavanagh in defence, Murt Brennan in the midfield was the town's standout.
Ballycane Celtic 3 Coill Dubh AFC 3
Ballycane welcomed coill Dubh to Naas looking to bounce back from Wednesday night’s defeat to neighbours Naas United. Although with a very depleted side through injuries the ‘Cane lads gave it their all today. Ballycane started the game well on top with some beautiful moves down the right from Jake O Reilly and Stephen Durney. O Reilly whipping in a delicious ball from the wing finding Preston in the middle with a free header but he could only find the keeper well positioned. The home side broke the deadlock on twenty five mins when a beautiful ball from Craig Byrne found Hazzard up front. He held off two defenders and played in Sam Allison who beautifully slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper. Coill Dubh pushed for an equaliser but found keeper mark lawlor in fine form in the cane goal. Ballycane doubled there lead when the tigerous Keelan Noone made two crunching tackles on the edge of the centre circle, took the ball with him and unleashed a thunderous shot straight into the right hand top corner past the helpless Anderson in goal. Reeling in the years. Ballycane should have made it three nil on thirty eight minutes when another cross from O Reilly found Preston unmarked in the box. His shot was well saved by the keeper. From the save Coill Dubh made a quick counter attack with some beautiful football which eventually found the onrushing no 8 in the box who bundled the ball into the net. 2-1
Both teams came out looking to assert dominance in the second half. The visitors created the first real dangerous chance with Mark Grace coming close from long range. Ballycane should have gone out of sight when the impressive Preston could have done better from close range but his header was just wide after some good work from Allison. On seventy eight minutes the ‘cane did get their third when some dazzling footwork from Hazzard played in sub Dan Turuzan who slotted the ball beautifully past the keeper. Coill dubh now started to pile on the pressure and used their bench to freshen up their side. On eighty eight minute a mix up from the Cane defence found the Coill Dubh midfielder free in the box and he beat Lawlor in goal. With time nearly up Ballycane looked to have seen the game out but Coill Dubh kept pushing for the equaliser and in the ninety seventh minute it came from a beautiful effort from outside the Box. With that the ref blew the whistle and a draw was the end result.
Best for Ballycane were the tireless Hazard and Noone up top with Preston, Larkin and Durney in the middle and Wayne Doyle and Jake O Reilly in defence.
Kilcullen AFC 3 Clonmullion AFC 3 (Abandoned 91st Min – Player injury)
Kilcullen and Clonmullion played out a cracker of a 3-3 draw on a typical Irish summer's evening on Friday night.
Clonmullion showed their intent after only five minutes, from an attacking throw their excellent number 11 created space on the endline and sent a dangerous cross into the home box which fell kindly for Nathan Robinson who finished with ease .1-0
Clonmullion were looking very dangerous whenever they had the ball and Kilcullen were struggling to get a foothold in the game and ten minutes later the number 11 caused havoc down the left again and Johnny Fennell was on hand to finish from another dangerous cross.2-0
It was sink or swim time for Kilcullen and to their credit they responded immediately. The excellent Mark Wolfe skipped passed the visitors right full and squared to Mick Fitzgerald who finished at the second attempt 2-1
It was more balanced now but Clonmullion looked the more dangerous attacking threat. They regained their two goal cushion on twenty five minutes . Number 6 set up a free kick twenty five yards out and with the Clonmullion attack set up as if a cross was imminent the 6 fooled everyone and his rasping drive just beat the despairing dive of the Kilcullen netminder Jamie McGowan. 3-1
Kilcullen didn’t let their heads drop and created some good chances but just lacked that killer instinct in front of goal, while at the back the Scanlon brothers, Rob Lee and captain Daragh Kelly were beginning to get a handle on the visitor attack. The midfield battle was really hotting up with Clifford, Doyle, Murphy and O’Toole fighting for every ball against the talented Mull midfield.
It was O’Toole who made the telling intervention on 40 minutes. Having battled hard to win the ball back he played a delightful ball into Mark Wolfe who finished calmly with his weaker foot. 3-2 halftime
Kilcullen raced out of the blocks in the second half and levelled the game up seven minutes in . Brian Murphy won a free in midfield and had the presence of mind to quickly set Wolfe through one on one and again he was not found wanting giving Lawless no chance in the Clonmullion goal 3-3
The away side upped their efforts from this point commanding the lion's share of possession but could not breach the Kilcullen rearguard, thanks in no small part to the performance of young Jamie Mcgowan who prevented at least three certain goals with some lightning reflect saves.
An unfortunate clash of heads between two Clonmullion defenders in injury led to some prolonged on field treatment and the game finished 3-3 The visitors had fine performances from 11,6 and Fennell While KIlcullen were well served by Keith Scanlon, Mick Fitzgerald, Mark Wolfe, Dean O’Toole and the excellent Jamie McGowan
MIDWEEK ACTION !
Clonmullion AFC 2 Suncroft AFC 2
It didn't take the home side long to open the scoring and they did so in the third minute. Danny Thompson was fouled on the left wing and Nathan Robinson whipped in the free kick which Dean Fennesy hooked beautifully past a helpless Colin Farrell. Buoyed by the quick start Clonmullion pushed for a second and on five minutes Lee Foley fed Nathan Doyle who crossed to the back post where Jody Dillon nodded down to Robinson who laid the ball off to Thompson but he blazed over from ten yards out. Suncroft settled into the game and Kieran Sheedy intercepted a loose pass from Joe Brennan and ran through on goal and lobbed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Michael Lawless but his effort went over the bar. Craig Durney and Eoin Doyle linking up well on the left wing, Doyle's floated cross found Kieran Sheedy who calmly slotted his side foot volley into the bottom corner of the net. The away side were gaining in confidence as the half wore on, with Sheedy, Minihan and Bryon Reid gaining the upper hand in midfield and driving their side forward. Reid, fresh off his two goal haul at the weekend, silenced the home crowd when his 25 yard shot took a wicked deflection before finding its way into the net just under the half hour mark. The home side drew level before the break when they were awarded a penalty when Josh Minahan was adjudged to have fouled Robinson in the 37th minute and Robinson dusted himself off and made no mistake from the spot.
Suncroft started the second half on the front foot and great approach play between Scully and Reid teed up Sheedy who chose to lay it off to substitute Stephen Coyne but he only found the side netting. The home side had a corner on the fiftieth minute and Lee Day flicked on to the back post where Rickie Moriarity arrived late but Farrell was equal to the header. The game was end to end and Craig Durney was again the provider when he crossed to the dangerous Doyle but he headed over. At the other end Fennessy fed Nathan Doyle who knocked the ball back to Lee Foley who floated a lovely cross to Dillon but he flashed his header just wide. With twenty five minutes left Clonmullion introduced Mark Hughes who's first involvement was to get on the end of a brilliant move involving Fennessy, Foley and Thompson who drilled the ball across the box and Dillon cleverly dummied but Hughes's goal bound effort was brilliantly deflected out for a corner by Liam Knight. A long punt from the keeper was headed clear by Brennan and this time Knight ran onto it and his thirty five yard first time effort was excellently saved by Lawless at the expense of a corner. The home side piled on the pressure in search of a winner and their best chance came on the 78th minute when Dillon worked hard to win the ball out wide and picked out Thompson who tried to lob the advancing Farrell but he gathered the ball easily. Dillon and Thompson again combined with the latter whipping in a cross but Robinson headed just wide. Suncroft almost snatched the winner with a minute left when centre forward Doyle got on the end of a long ball from Farrell but Lawless saved low down his right. In another strong team effort the 'Croft had some standout performances from the excellent midfield pair of Sheedy and Reid, with Eoin Doyle and Craig Durney also in top form and half time substitutes Bryne and Coyne both playing a big part for their side.
Clonmullion were best served by keeper Lawless who was solid at vital times Moriarity and Brennan at the back. Robinson and Day worked hard in the middle while Dillon and Thompson were a constant threat up front.